The Prince George Cougars announced their leadership group for the remainder of the season Tuesday, naming defenceman Dennis Cholowski the 23rd Captain in franchise history.
In addition to naming Cholowski Captain, the Cougars have also named Josh Anderson and Brogan O’Brien Alternate Captains.
“Your leadership group is one of the foundation pieces in having a successful team, on and off the ice. These three young men embody the leadership qualities you want in Captains and I feel we are in great hands going forward,” said General Manger Todd Harkins.
Originally selected by the Cougars in the 10th round (200th overall) in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Cholowski leads all Cougars’ defencemen in scoring and is 18th in the WHL, with six goals and 17 points in 20 games. The Langley BC, native recently played for Team WHL at the 2017 CIBC Canada – Russia Series, in Moose Jaw and Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The 6’1, 200 pound defenceman was the Detroit Red Wings’ first pick, 20th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, New York.
“It’s a great feeling and it’s humbling, knowing who have worn letters in the past for this organization,” said Cholowski. “We have a great group in our dressing room and it’s great to have Josh and Brogan helping lead as well. They’re two great guys and they’re big parts of the team.”
“Brogan, Dennis and Josh have earned the respect from the coaching staff and their teammates that comes with being leaders. They’re willing to put personal accolades aside for the betterment of the team, and their passion for the game and our group is exactly what we’re looking for in leaders,” stated Head Coach Richard Matvichuk.
Anderson has spent his entire four-year WHL career with the Cougars, playing in 160 career regular season games, posting six goals and 24 points, to go along with 224 penalty-minutes. Last season, Anderson had three goals and 11 points in 69 games and was and plus 13. Through eight games this season, the Duncan BC, product has three assists and is a plus one. Anderson was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round, 71st overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.
“I was fortunate to have Sam Ruopp as a Captain for the past few seasons and he was my D-partner last year too. I sat next to him in the dressing room, along with Brendan Guhle and learned a lot from those two. I watched how they spoke to the team, interacted with different players, and I will definitely implement that in my leadership role with this group,” said Anderson. It’s a privilege and big responsibility to wear a letter and I couldn’t be more honoured.”
O’Brien, a Prince George BC, native, is in his third and final season with the Cougars. The 20-year-old has seven goals and 11 points in 21 games this season, sitting fourth in team scoring. He’s red-hot too, scoring four goals and picking up five points in his last five games. In his WHL career, O’Brien has compiled 34 goals and 100 points in 162 regular season games. He’s chipped in with another two goals and three points in 10 career playoff games.
“It’s special, being from here, having the opportunity to play for my hometown team and now to wear a letter. The leadership group goes way past us three, as there’s older guys in our room who share big roles as well, and even the young guys have done their part.”
The coaching staff also announced the team will have a third Alternate Captain on a rotating basis
The Prince George Cougars (9-9-2-2) are looking for their fourth straight win tonight, when they face the Central Division-leading Medicine Hat Tigers (13-7-0-0) at the CN Centre at 7 pm. It’s the start of a midweek double-header, as the two teams go head-to-head tonight and tomorrow. Tickets for both games are available at the TicketsNorth box office at the CN Centre, or online at www.ticketsnorth.ca