Veteran forward Chase Dafoe will lead the Trail Smoke Eaters into the new season.
The Smoke Eaters announced their leadership group on Thursday as the team prepares for the 2020/21 pod season in Penticton, which begins Friday night.
Dafoe was named assistant captain prior to the exhibition season start in October, and will take over the ‘C’ from former captain Cody Schiavon who was recruited by the NCAA University of Vermont in December.
“We are excited to empower Chase with the captaincy,” said Smokies head coach and GM Tim Fragle. “He embodies everything it means to be a Trail Smoke Eater and he’ll be supported by the rest of this year’s leadership group.”
Joining Dafoe as part of the leadership group will be forward Jaden Senkoe who will wear the ‘A’ for all twenty games.
When the Smoke Eaters are in their orange jerseys, defenceman Jordan Hendry and forward Coalson Wolford will be assistant captains. When the team is in their black jerseys Noah Wakeford and Nicolas Roussel will wear the ‘A’ on their jerseys.
According to the Smoke Eaters release, Dafoe says, “When he puts the jersey on for the first time Friday night, it will be a special moment for him.”
Trail went 7-2-0-0 in the exhibition season, and will be competitive in the shortened regular season with returning veterans Dafoe, Senkoe, and goalie Logan Terness.
The Smokies will play in a pod with Penticton Vees and the Cranbrook Bucks, with all 20 matches going at the South Okanagan Event Centre and no fans permitted.
Trail has done a good job of bolstering their line up despite the pandemic. The Smokies added forwards Connor Michaud, Quinn Disher, and Noah Wakeford, and more recently defenceman Ryan Helliwell and forward Kalen Szeto on loan from the Langley Rivermen, who opted out of the 20-game season.
Trail opens their season Friday night in Penticton against the Vees with the puck drop at 7 p.m.