Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Oil Kings are proud to announce 18-year-old defenceman Mark Pysyk will be the team captain for the 2010-11 Western Hockey League season, as the team made the official appointment on Tuesday.
“It’s such an honour to be picked to be the captain of this team,” said Pysyk, who was an assistant captain last season. “The Oil Kings mean so much to me and have been so good to me over the past few years. I’m going to take so much pride and passion into my new role. I look forward to leading this team to some great things this season.”
“We’re so proud to be naming Mark as our captain,” Oil Kings General Manager Bob Green said. “He has proven himself as a fantastic leader and role model for this team, on and off the ice. We have a lot of faith in his ability to lead this team and be a mentor to our younger players.”
The Sherwood Park native was the Oil Kings’ first-ever bantam draft pick, selected third overall in 2007. Pysyk was the team’s top defenceman and rookie of the year in 2008-09, as well as top defenceman and most valuable player in 2009-10. He scored seven goals and 17 assists in 48 games last season.
Pysyk also became the first-ever Oil Kings player to be selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft when he was picked 23rd overall by the Buffalo Sabres earlier this year. He spent two weeks at Sabres training camp earlier this month and returned to the Oil Kings on Monday.
Five Oil Kings players will serve as assistant captains this season. Rhett Rachinski has the honour for home and away games, while Adrian Van de Mosselaer and Jordan Hickmott will wear A’s exclusively at home, and Mike Piluso and Travis Ewanyk will wear A’s on the road.
Pysyk will make his debut as Oil Kings captain when the team visits the Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday. The Oil Kings also play the Pats in Regina on Friday. Their next home game is Sunday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. against the Moose Jaw Warriors at Rexall Place. The first 5,000 fans will receive an Oil Kings magnetic schedule, and it’s also an Autograph Sunday where there will be a full-team autograph session after the game.
Individual game tickets for all Oil Kings home games are on sale now and start at just $15 in the ATB Financial Zone. Season seats start at less than $9 per game, with the addition of some new Mini-Packs and Flex Plans this season as well.Tickets are available at any Ticketmaster outlet, online at oilkings.ca, or by calling 780-414-GOAL (4625).