Winnipeg, MB - The Winnipeg Jet Hockey Club announced today that Blake Wheeler will be the club's new captain with Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele serving as alternate captains.
Wheeler, 30, has been with the organization for the past seven seasons, serving the last three years as an alternate captain to Andrew Ladd. Wheeler has become one of the NHL's top forwards, finishing tied for sixth in league scoring in 2015-16 with 78 points (26G, 52A). The native of Plymouth, Minn. has been in the NHL for nine seasons, playing for the Jets, Thrashers and Boston Bruins. Over his career, he has 440 points (173G, and 267A) in 615 career NHL games. Wheeler is fourth all-time in franchise scoring with 330 points (123G, 207A) in 394 games. Blake signed a six-year contract extension with the Jets in 2013.
After being originally drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes fifth overall in 2004 out of Breck High School in Golden Valley, Minn., Wheeler would attend the University of Minnesota helping the Golden Gophers to a WCHA title in 2007, scoring the game winning, overtime goal.
Internationally, Wheeler will represent the United States at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in September and played for the U.S. at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. He has also played in a World Championship and World Junior Championship.
Blake, along with his family, have been very charitable to community endeavors in Manitoba. He commits his time to organizations such as: The Children's Hospital of Manitoba, Special Olympics Manitoba, the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter, the Future Goals program and visiting local schools.
Byfuglien, 31, is entering his seventh season with the franchise and will be an alternate captain for the second time. Byfuglien was an alternate captain from 2010-14 for the organization. Byfuglien hails from Roseau, Minn. and is sixth all-time in franchise scoring with 288 points (97G, 191A) in 418 games with the Thrashers and Jets. He is a Stanley Cup Champion, a four-time NHL All-Star and he signed a five-year extension with Winnipeg last February. Byfuglien will suit up alongside Blake Wheeler for the United States at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
Scheifele, 23, enters his fourth full season with Winnipeg after the Jets made him the team's first ever draft pick since the organization returned to Manitoba. Scheifele had a breakout year in 2015-16, finishing the season with 61 points (29G, 31A) in 71 games. Scheifele recently signed an eight-year contract extension with the Jets and will play for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey taking place in Toronto.