COVENTRY BLAZE forward Jordan Pietrus has described picking up the role as captain for the 2016/17 season as an honour.
Pietrus’ confirmation as Blaze captain comes just weeks before the Blaze are due to take to the ice for their first practise session ahead of their 2016/17 Elite League campaign.
The 30-year-old has been announced as the new skipper of the Blaze after Ashley Tait decided to step down from his former role in April.
Born in Moose Jaw, Canada, Pietrus made a significant impact on Coventry’s Elite League campaign last year – posting an impressive 46 points from 56 games, including 24 crucial goals.
The forward was voted by fans as last season’s Forward of the Year and also picked up the accolade of Booster Club’s Player of the Season.
Pietrus admitted a lot of emotions ran through his head when he was asked the question to be captain by head coach Danny Stewart, but he feels honoured and humbled to accept the role.
Pietrus added: “It is a true honour to be asked to be the captain of the Coventry Blaze – a team with a rich and storied history and has been captained by many great players.
“I would like to thank our management group James Pease, Andy Buxton and Mike & Dianne Cowley for giving me the opportunity to come to Coventry last October and then bringing me back this year.
“I would also like to thank the management team, as well as Danny and Ash, for trusting and believing in me with this responsibility.”
Pietrus has since been handed a two-year contract from head coach Danny Stewart who described Pietrus as the definition of a captain.
Stewart said: “I spoke to many people about him (Pietrus) over the years as I tried to recruit him in Newcastle and in Fife.
“He’s a pro – he comes to the rink everyday trying to get better and that’s infectious.
“He’s vocal and at the same time is not afraid to hold guys accountable.
“Jordan is well respected by his peers and every one of them will know that their captain will go through a wall for them.”
“I will take my time to decide who I will surround Jordan with – it is also a big decision.
“As a group they all need to be on the same page but at the same time bring different elements to the group.”