Brandon Baddock, a 20-year-old forward in his fourth season with the club, was named the ninth captain in franchise history Friday as the Oil Kings get set to open the WHL regular season Saturday in Red Deer.
Baddock had a career high 19 goals and 40 points in 2014-15 while serving as an alternate captain for the club. The centre from Vermilion, Alta. recently returned to Edmonton after attending NHL training camp with the New Jersey Devils, who selected him in the sixth round in the 2014 NHL Draft.
“He has an obvious presence in our room and has really grown with our program. That kind of exemplifies what we want our guys to be. He’s a homegrown player. He’s an Oil King draft pick who has been with the organization and has always shown the ability to raise his game, year after year. His leadership style is one that’s also grown and evolved,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton.
“The path that he’s had with us has been very honest. He hasn’t fast-tracked his way to success. He’s really worked for it and earned it. He was an NHL draft pick a year after his eligibility which speaks to how he continues to grow his game. His evolution as a player is on par with his evolution as a leader.
He’ll stick up for any one of those players in our room, go to bat for any one of them, and you need that in a captain. He’s a guy you count on, and Brandon has never shied away from tough situations or playing his way through adversity, and you just instantly relate to a guy like that.”
Joining Baddock with a letter on his chest this season will be defenceman Dysin Mayo. The 19-year-old Victoria product will wear an “A” on his jersey for all 72 games this season after serving in the same capacity last season.
“I think the best characteristic about Dysin is his consistency as a player and a person. He’s the same guy every day. He’s an honest, hard-working yet highly skilled player. That’s a combination that every player aspires to have,” Hamilton said.
The Oil Kings will then rotate the other two alternate captains, with Ben Carroll and Brett Pollock serving in the role at home and Aaron Irving and Luke Bertolucci wearing the letters on the road.
“When we discussed our leadership group, we felt that this group of six was the best representation and cross-section of our dressing room that really stood for what we want to be as an organization. There’s a mixture of age, positions and personalities, and all of those are critical. It was about being as inclusive as we could with those guys because they deserved it. I felt like to recognize all six of them for their contributions was the end goal,” Hamilton said. “As a staff, we’re really proud of this group and have high expectations. We know that these guys are on board to take this team forward.”
The Oil Kings regular season kicks off Saturday night when Edmonton heads to Red Deer to take on the Rebels. The two teams will turn around and head back to Rexall Place to do it again on Sunday