The Ducks have named Ryan Kesler
an alternate captain for the 2015-16 season, joining incumbent captains Ryan Getzlaf
and Corey Perry
"It’s an honor. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example, like I always do," said Kesler. "We have a lot of great leaders on this team. A lot of previous captains and things like that. To be named, it’s pretty special."
Kesler signed a six-year contract extension through the 2021-22 NHL season in the offseason. The 31-year-old appeared in 81 regular season games last year, scoring 20-27=47 points with 75 penalty minutes (PIM). Kesler led the club in faceoff percentage (56.3%, ninth in NHL), faceoff wins (937), shots (205), and ranked second among forwards in hits (169), takeaways (47) and blocked shots (69). He added 7-6=13 points with a +2 rating and 24 PIM in 16 playoff games, leading the Ducks in faceoff wins (221, second in NHL) and percentage (57.6%, fourth in NHL). Each of his six playoff assists were primary (first assist) and either tied the score or put the Ducks ahead. In addition, four of his seven postseason goals came in the third period.
"He's an intense man who does all the right things and wants to win," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau of Kesler. "That's a leader to me."
It will be the sixth straight season as captain for Getzlaf and the second as alternate captain for Perry.
Acquired with a third-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft from Vancouver in exchange for center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and first-round and third-round selections in the 2014 NHL Draft on June 27, 2014, Kesler has scored 202-238=440 points with a +20 rating and 669 PIM in 736 career NHL games with Anaheim and Vancouver. The 6-2, 208-pound center has also collected 19-32=51 points with 95 PIM in 73 career Stanley Cup Playoff games. A 2011 Frank J. Selke Trophy winner and 2011 NHL All-Star, Kesler owns a 53.3 career faceoff percentage (6,309-for-11,823) and has led his respective teams in faceoff wins in six of the last eight seasons.
A native of Livonia, Michigan, Kesler is a two-time Olympian with Team USA and 2010 silver medal winner. He has appeared in the last two Olympic Winter Games, helping lead the U.S. to the championship game in Vancouver with two goals (2-0=2) in six contests. He has also won gold at the 2004 World Junior Championship in Finland and 2002 Under-18 Championship in Slovakia. Kesler was originally selected by Vancouver in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft.