Defenseman Griffin Reinhart has been named the captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. The move was announced Tuesday by Edmonton Head Coach Derek Laxdal, who also named the club’s five alternate captains.
The Islanders first round (fourth overall) selection in the 2012 NHL Draft became the fifth captain in Oil Kings history, following a summer in which he also played in the Memorial Cup in May, participated in his first NHL mini-camp in June and represented Canada at the Canada-Russia Challenge in August.
“I’m really happy to have the job,” Reinhart said. “I’ve got to take a bigger leadership role and be more vocal and help the younger guys coming into the league. I’ve got to lead by example and also communicate with them. I think I’m ready to take a big step up.”
In 2011-12 Reinhart set career highs with 58 games played, 12 goals, 24 assists, 36 points, a plus-23 rating and 38 penalty minutes. He also served as an assistant captain and helped lead the Oil Kings to their first WHL Championship in the modern era.
“He really leads by example out there,” Oil Kings teammate Travis Ewanyk said. “He’s not going to be coming in yelling at guys. You don’t need that, especially when you have a lot of strong voices in there. He proved last year what kind of special player he is.”
Reinhart will make his debut as captain at the Oil Kings season opener on Sept. 20, when the team will raise their 2012 WHL Championship banner to the rafters at Rexall Place.
VIDEO: OIL KINGS NAME REINHART CAPTAIN