The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that center Jonathan Toews will serve as the team’s captain during the 2008-09 regular season, making him the third-youngest player to earn that distinction in the history of the National Hockey League.
Toews (20 years, 79 days) joins Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier as the one of the youngest players in professional hockey to captain his club. Crosby assumed his role at 19 years and 297 days, while Lecavalier took on the captaincy for the Lightning at 19 years and 330 days.
“Jonathan deserves this honor, he is a tremendous individual and a wonderful leader on and off the ice,” General Manager Dale Tallon said. “He has experience in captaining teams from his World Junior appearances and guys follow his lead in our locker room.”
Chicago’s first choice (3rd overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Toews led league rookies with 24 goals and seven power-play markers while ranking third with 54 points during his professional debut last season. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native ranked third on the Blackhawks with 30 assists and tied for third with his 54 points while appearing in 64 of the squad’s 80 matchups.
He began his Blackhawks and professional career with a point in each of his first 10 games
(5 goals, 5 assists), which is the second-longest streak to start a career in NHL history. Overall, he posted a point in 39 of his 64 contests.
Toews, who has captured Gold Medals for Team Canada in the 2007 and 2008 World Junior Champions, registered 40 goals and 85 points in 76 games with the University of North Dakota prior to turning pro. He joins current Blackhawks Head Coach Denis Savard (1988-89) as one of 34 players to wear the “C” for the organization.