Penticton’s Matt Needham is going to be a captain for the third time in his hockey career, this time for the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers.
Needham, 18, was captain for his bantam and peewee teams, but said this is definitely the biggest.
“It’s a huge honour. With the guys that have been captain before me, being recognized like that by my teammates and coaches is definitely a huge honour,” said Needham.
Heading into his third full season with the Blazers, the Penticton minor hockey product said he was hoping to take more of a leadership role. Needham, who didn’t wear a letter for the team last season, said being a younger captain it’s going to be a group effort with the older players.
Taking on that role also isn’t going to change Needham’s approach on the ice and said he can’t think about it too much, just lead by example. If he needs to hold guys accountable, that’s not going to be a problem.
Entering this season, Needham wants to improve on his numbers from last season in which he scored 12 goals and added 21 assists in 58 games. In 136 career games with the Blazers he has 28 goals and 77 points.
The Blazers made the announcement yesterday about their new captain.
“Matt has developed his leadership qualities over the past two seasons under guys like Chase Schaber, Colin Smith, Dylan Willick and Tyler Hansen,” said Blazers head coach Dave Hunchak on the team’s website. “Matt will wear the ‘C’, but we know we have plenty of leaders on this team. He will be well supported by his teammates and the staff.