WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — The Winnipeg Jets named forward Blake Wheeler as their captain Wednesday.
Wheeler fills the void left when former captain Andrew Ladd who was dealt to Chicago in February.
The 6-foot-5 Wheeler has been with the Jets since the team relocated from Atlanta before the 2011-12 season. The former University of Minnesota player had his best offensive year last season, scoring 26 goals and adding 52 assists in 78 games. Drafted with the fifth pick in the 2004 NHL draft by the Phoenix Coyotes, he signed with the Boston as a free agent, and over the course of his career with the Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers and Jets he’s scored 173 goals and 440 points in 615 games.
"When we think about leaders and what we ask of them, at the very top of the list is we want them to lead by example," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "For Blake, in my time here but also over the course of his career, rarely do you run by a player who is able to play that hard, that consistently, every night. In order to do that, he practices like that. In terms of what we want our young players to, what do we want our fans to see, and how we want the players around Blake, where we want their eyes, is on his effort level, his compete, every shift, every game, every practice.
He will represent the United States in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.
Forward Mark Scheifele and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will were tabbed as alternate captains for the Jets.