BELLEVILLE, ON – The Belleville Bulls unveiled their captaincy for the 2012-13 season on Monday, naming third year-centreman Brendan Gaunce captain along with Stephen Silas, Brady Austin, Michael Curtis and Joseph Cramarossa serving as assistants.
Gaunce was impressive as a 17 year-old, scoring 20 times while adding 48 assists in 68 games. The Markham native was drafted 26th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and signed an entry level contract with the club on August 13th.
Gaunce not only exhibits leadership qualities on the ice for the Bulls, but is recognized as one of the elite young players in Canadian junior hockey. He was nominated as the team's representative for the OHL's Bobby Smith Award in 2011, given to the academic player of the year and will attend Queen’s University this season.
Formerly the second overall pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, Gaunce has developed his game on and off the ice over the past two seasons in Belleville. "Brendan's progression as a leader has been evident in the time he has spent here and he’s brought a high level of maturity and presence to our group this season." said Bulls Head Coach and General Manager George Burnett on Monday. "He has high expectations for himself and for the team this season, and he's always been the type to lead by example."
The Bulls also named their team of assistant captains on Monday, with four veterans sharing the duties this season. Stephen Silas, Brady Austin, Michael Curtis and Joseph Cramarossa will rotate wearing the “A” at home and on the road.
"We have a number of guys on this team who are capable of stepping up to lead, even if they aren't being recognized with a letter," added Burnett. "There is a real veteran presence on this team and we'll need all of our experienced players to assume leadership in order to take us to the next level."
Gaunce inherits the captaincy from former Bull Luke Judson who wore the “C” for the better part of three seasons. “It’s an honour to be named the captain of the Belleville Bulls,” Gaunce said with a smile. “In being in Vancouver over the summer and observing the guys there, you see their approach and realize what professionals they are. It’s my goal to bring that enthusiasm and drive to the rink every day.”
The Bulls begin their season on Friday night at the RBC Centre in Sarnia, squaring off with the Sting at 7:00pm before facing the Plymouth Whalers on Saturday night on the road.
Fans can follow all the action on AM 800 CJBQ with Bulls voice Jack Miller on play-by-play, or subscribe to the Bulls Twitter feed (@OHLBulls) for up to the minute updates.