The Saskatoon Blades are turning to a local boy to captain the team this upcoming season.
The team named 20-year-old defencemen Evan Fiala captain during a news conference at Merlin Ford on Tuesday.
The Clavet native becomes the 58th captain in team history, something he calls a “huge honour.”
“Every guy would love to have it, but with our team it’s not a big deal. We have a lot of good guys who are more than capable. It’s a pleasure to wear it that’s for sure.”
Fiala arrived with the Blades last December in a trade with the Spokane Chiefs.
He said while having the C on his jersey comes with added responsibility, he won’t change his style. Fiala said entering the season the focus is to pick up where the team left off last season when they finished just out of the playoffs.
“I know everyone from last year saw that we were that close. If we have a whole year like that second half we’ll be just fine.”
Over the course of four seasons, Fiala has suited up for 195 career regular season games, amassing 50 points and 349 penalty minutes.
Coach Dean Brockman said Fiala plays the game with a lot of passion and was a natural choice.
“When your watching him in practice, or watching him in the gym or whether you’re taking to him, you can have that adult conversation and the tough conversation with him and he never takes it the wrong way,” Brockman said.
“He’s very willing, accepting and responsible for some of the things that we need to accomplish this year.”
Fiala is slated to take part in his first NHL main camp with the Detroit Red Wings later this week.
—With files from Wray Morrison and Brent Bosker.