Looking at the soft-spoken, 25-year-old winger it may be hard at first to imagine a scoring leader, much less a captain.
But apart from his mild demeanor in the locker room, Jason Pominville
demonstrated consistent play and quiet leadership this season that, simply, spoke for itself.
His reliability, in part, accounted for Lindy Ruff’s decision to name the Quebec native captain in March and April- making him the first player of the season to wear the letter in consecutive months.
Pominville responded by becoming one the NHL’s most productive players following the All-Star break, ranked fourth in the league in scoring with 41 points (16+25), including 10 multi-point efforts.
When asked about the winger’s production with the “C,” at one point, Ruff responded- “he’s making me look like a genius.”
“Overall, I’m pretty happy with the job I did when I did have it,” Pominville said. “I want to be a leader, I want to be a guy people look up to and I definitely feel comfortable with it.
“I think this year was kind of an adjustment period,” he continued regarding the captaincy. “They weren’t sure what to do with it or who was going to have it.
“If I was given it [next season] I would definitely take it and hopefully do a good job… if not I’m still going to keep doing the things I’ve been doing well. It’s a letter on the sweater; you’ve got to earn it.”
Pominville is well on his way. He finished the season recording a career-high 53 helpers and 80 points, earning a team-high plus-16 rating and was one of four players on the team to participate in all 82 games.
Pominville emerged as one of Buffalo's premier players, a true leader, and has stepped out of the shadow cast by a former captain.
“It’s been a different kind of season for me,” Pominville said. “Last year being on Danny and Jochen [Hecht’s] line… I think a lot of people gave a lot of credit to what I did last year to Danny and I didn’t really get much of that credit.
“I think this year I came in and wanted to prove everyone wrong.
“They are two great players, two guys that brought a lot to the table,” Pominville said of last year’s departed co-captains Briere and Chris Drury. “But we have depth and we have other guys that did step in and do a good job.”
Spoken like a true captain.