Oshawa Generals center Scott Laughton, a 2012 first-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers (No. 20), was named captain of the Canada National Junior Team for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Halifax Mooseheads forward Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba were named alternate captains.
"It's a huge honor," Laughton told TSN. "To be able to wear the 'C' for Canada and to have a great group of guys in the room and to be able to lead these guys, they're all so talented. It's a huge honor for me."
Canada coach Brent Sutter told TSN Laughton reminds him of Mike Richards, whom Sutter had as captain of the 2005 World Junior Championship team that won the gold medal in Grand Forks, N.D.
"Leadership comes natural to him," Sutter said of Laughton. "He's certainly a player that's well-respected in the dressing room. He reminds me a lot of in '05 when Mike Richards was our captain. He's not necessarily the most skilled player on the team, but he's a player that comes to play every night and does things the right way. I'm not saying players like that don't have a lot of skill; they do, but it's just in a different way. They're the glue of the hockey team. They're guys that are very well-respected in the room."
Laughton serves as captain in Oshawa, and it will be the third time he puts on the Hockey Canada jersey. He won a gold medal with Canada at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament and won a bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Drouin played on the 2013 World Junior team and was selected by the Lightning with the third pick of the 2013 NHL Draft. Sutter knows Dumba from their time together with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League.
Sutter said picking his leadership group wasn't easy but Laughton, Drouin and Dumba stuck out from the pack.
"All these kids on this team are true leaders on their own teams, yet you have to name somebody," he said. "With this group those three guys are guys that stick out. Matty, I know the way he is and the intangible things with his leadership. [Drouin] has been here, he's a leader on his own team in Halifax. It was a natural fit for these three guys."