Head Coach Ryan Huska and his staff made the announcement of who their captain and assistant captains will be for the 2015-16 season earlier today.
Defenseman Aaron Johnson was named the captain, while Turner Elson, Garnet Hathaway and Blair Riley were named as assistant captains.
For Johnson, it will be his third-straight season wearing the ‘C’ on his sweater, as he wore it with the Binghamton Senators and Hartford Wolf Pack the last two seasons respectively.
“It’s exciting, very exciting,” Johnson said. “We have a great group of guys here and I’m looking forward to a great start to a good season.”
As a veteran of nearly 300 NHL games and over 400 AHL games, Johnson expected to take on a leadership role with a young Stockton Heat team this year.
“I’m not surprised to be a part of the leadership group,” Johnson explained. “As you get older, you’re always expected to bring a little more of that element to the organization, so I’m looking forward to doing that here with the [Flames organization].”
The assistant captains also were not very surprising as all three have served as captains in their playing careers at some point in time.
Elson, the youngest of the selected captains, served as an assistant captain for a good period of time last season in Adirondack and is thrilled to start the season with a letter on his sweater.
“I really wanted to come in here and show my leadership qualities at the start of the season,” Elson said. “We have a lot of leaders in there and there could’ve been any number of good choices in that room this year. I wanted to prove to the coaches and my teammates that I can be a leader, so being a part of this leadership group is a good feeling.”
Johnson, Elson, Hathaway and Riley will lead the Heat out onto the ice at Stockton Arena for the first ever time Saturday night when the Stockton Heat take on the Rockford IceHogs in the Heat’s inaugural AHL season and home opener.