Roman Josi’s on-ice skill set falls into an elite class, and now his leadership abilities are being recognized as well.
The Nashville Predators defenseman was named an alternate captain on Tuesday by the club, joining Captain Shea Weber, alternate captains Mike Fisher and James Neal, as well as goaltender Pekka Rinne in making up the Predators core leadership group for the 2015-16 season.
“It’s a big honor and I’m excited,” Josi said. “There are a lot of great leaders on this team and I just try to play my part in it.”
Josi, who has worn an ‘A’ on occasion previously, including during the 2015 postseason when Weber was injured, is a natural fit to join Nashville’s leadership group, according to Head Coach Peter Laviolette.
“Just watching him play last year, what he brings to our team on the ice and off the ice, he’s a player that we count on in all situations,” Laviolette said of Josi. “His leadership inside the room and on the ice really shined last year as the person and player that he was and he fits into the group that we already have in place. We’re happy to add him into that role.”
The Swiss defenseman posted 15 goals and 55 points during the 2014-15 campaign, the second-highest point total by a blueliner in a single season in franchise history. Josi’s 55 points led Nashville defensemen and his 209 blocked shots not only lead the club, but was the second most of an NHL player last season.
Josi finished fifth in voting for the 2015 Norris Trophy, awarded annually to the League’s top defenseman.