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Bruce named alternate captain in North Bay

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

With Miles Liberati being traded to the Kitchener Rangers on Monday, the North Bay Battalion were in need of a new alternate captain.

They turned to Calgary Flames prospect Riley Bruce.

The defenceman was named an alternate on Wednesday.

"He's a great kid who has worked really hard," North Bay head coach Stan Butler told the media. "He comes to the rink every day trying to get better.

"He’s worked really hard. He’s the epitome of what we want in Battalion hockey players. He comes to the rink every day trying to be a better player, and he’s got good off-ice qualities. He’s a good student, and he never gets nailed for curfew."

The 18-year-old has one goal and six points in 24 games this year. He was the Battalion's third round selection in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection and has played 133 games in North Bay silks since the 2013-14 season.

The 6-foot-7 blueliner was Calgary's seventh round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, a selection the team made with the long-term future in mind. Describing Bruce as a raw talent, the organization is cognizant of the fact he needs time to physically develop.

"Physically he’s got a lot of work to do," Director of Amateur Scouting Tod Button said. "Strength. He’s a tall kid and he’s thinner. We want his mobility to increase, hand skills, puck skills to increase. He’s a project physically but he’s got a good frame of mind."

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