The Spokane Chiefs have named 20-year-old Tyler Johnson team captain. The Spokane native will wear the ‘C’ this weekend when the Chiefs travel to Kootenay on Friday and on Saturday night when Spokane hosts the Tri-City Americans in their home opener.
The Chiefs also named fellow 20-year-old Levko Koper as Alternate Captain. Koper is entering his fifth season as a Chief and leads all active players with 259 career games played. He has scored 66 goals in his career.
Both Johnson and Koper were members of the 2008 Memorial Cup Champions.
“Tyler is a logical choice because he’s a good leader. He’s got the leadership qualities that every coach is looking for; he leads by example, he’s a vocal guy, all the players look up to him and he’s a winner, he knows what it takes to win.
“Levko has a lot of the same characteristics and also has a wealth of experience,” Chiefs Head Coach Don Nachbaur said.
“All leaders need one thing, credibility. That comes from doing it yourself and that is why these players are so important for us, they do the right things. They have Memorial Cup rings and they know what it takes to win and that is part of carrying the new torch and passing that knowledge on to the young players, both off the ice and in the games.”
The other two Alternate Captains will be chosen on a nightly basis from a leadership core that includes key veterans.
“You can’t have enough leaders and we’re trying to get everyone involved and take the bull by the horns.”
Johnson takes over the captain duties from 19-year-old defenseman Jared Cowen who is currently playing for the Ottawa Senators.
“Jared Cowen’s goal is to play in the NHL this season with the Senators,” Nachbaur said. “The Spokane Chiefs wish him the best in trying to achieve that goal.”
At 19, Cowen can only play in the NHL with the Senators or be returned to the Chiefs.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)