Garrett McMullen

Garrett McMullen

McMullen to wear ‘C’

The Trail Smoke Eaters will open its main camp at the Cominco Arena today with a leader firmly intact.

The Trail Smoke Eaters will open its main camp at the Cominco Arena today with a leader firmly intact.

On Thursday, the Smokies named Garrett McMullen the team captain for the 2012-13 season.

McMullen, a native of Rochester, N.Y., is entering his 20 year-old season, his second in the BCHL. McMullen scored 36 points in 53 games with the Smoke Eaters in 2011-12 after being acquired early in the season from the Powell River Kings.

“I’m honoured and excited to be named captain of the Smoke Eaters,” said McMullen in a release. “We have high expectations this season and I’m really looking forward to leading the way for this team.”

McMullen stepped it up last year to fill a void left by leading scorer and team leader Clayton Chessa when he was traded to Vernon and ultimately moved on to Nanaimo in early January.

McMullen counted 24 of his 36 points after Chessa’s departure, as he, Erik Cooper and Conner Tiechko became the most effective Smoke Eater line during the second half of the season.

“I’ve played a few captain roles before . . . I just try to lead by example and you know help the younger kids. It’s a big role to take on but I’m excited to do it.”

Adam Wheeldon a Nelson native was also named Smokies’ Assistant captain.

“They both grabbed the bull by the horns (last year). You know they’re so respected in there (the dressing room), and they work hard off and on the ice, they fit in, everyone likes them, the kids listen when they talk, so it was a no brainer,” said Smoke Eaters coach Bill Birks.

McMullen becomes the 18th captain in Smoke Eaters BCHL history, inheriting the “C” from now-graduated defenseman Clayton McEwan.