FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies now know who the ‘alpha dog’ in the dressing room is.
On the eve of the NWJHL regular-season opener in Dawson Creek, Huskies staff have decided which players best display the identity of the team by awarding them letters on their jerseys.
The captain of the 2021-2022 Fort St. John Huskies is 20-year-old forward, Cayden Frenette.
Frenette first suited up for the Huskies in the 2018-2019 season, appearing in two games. In the 2019-2020 pandemic-shortened season, Frenette tallied seven goals, 11 assists and 43 penalty minutes in 39 games.
“Cayden is a player that cares about his teammates. He never gets outworked, shows up consistently game in and game out, and he leads by example,” said head coach Todd Alexander.
Joining Frenette in the leadership group are the three assistant captains: forwards Nick Loewen, Jared Winkel, and defenseman Oscar Burgess.
Nick Loewen, 20, played two games in the 2018-2019 season before joining the Huskies full-time in 2019-2020. Combining 15 goals and eight assists, and a disciplined 20 penalty minutes (PIM) in 40 games, Charlie Lake local Nick Loewen has established himself as a hard player to go up against, which is perfect for the identity of the Huskies.
“Nick is a quiet leader that wants his actions, not words, to be followed. He’s another one of those great teammates that you need to have.”
The third forward wearing a letter this season is 21-year-old Jared Winkel of Lantzville, B.C. Winkel has a combined 76 games played since the 2018-2019 season, leaving his mark in all statistical categories. Winkel had a well-rounded 14 goals and 16 assists to go along with 52 minutes in the penalty box in his rookie season. He scored equally as many as he assisted in 2019-2020, finishing with 46 points, 64 penalty minutes in 40 games.
Coach says Winkel loves to compete in the big moments.
“Jared is a passionate, confident player. He looks forward to those big moments, and he shows up for them. He’s another guy that has a really high compete level.”
Keeping things in check on the blueline is the final assistant captain, Whitehorse, Yukon’s Oscar Burgess. The 19-year-old got his start with the Huskies in 2018-2019, notching eight points and 44 PIM in 19 games.
“He’s got an internal fire that burns naturally. Oscar plays the game hard, and he plays it the right way. He’s one of those ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’ guys.”
While those four players will wear a letter on their jersey, coach Alexander expects all his players to show leadership qualities.
One thing’s for sure, with those four young men leading the way, the excitement for the season couldn’t be higher.
The Huskies take on the Dawson Creek Kodiaks on Friday, then they head right back out on the road to Clairmont, AB to play the County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings on Saturday. The Huskies long-awaited home opener — in the newly renovated North Peace Arena — drops the puck on October 22nd against the Fairview Flyers.
Click here for the full Huskies season schedule.
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