The Calgary Hitmen Hockey Club today announced Matteo Gennaro as the 25th captain in franchise history. Jake Bean and Beck Malenstyn will serve as full-time alternate captains while Luke Coleman and Mark Kastelic will share the third ‘A’ for the 2017-18 Western Hockey League season.
“Our leadership core is a mature, experienced group of players who impact our locker room on and off the ice,” said head coach Dallas Ferguson. “When your best players are your leaders it is a good thing for your organization. Since training camp, Matteo has shown a calm hand, keeping things in perspective. He’s a consistent performer whose emotions are always in check and you need that in a captain, someone that can keep the group on an even keel.”
Gennaro, playing in his final WHL season, joined the Hitmen in January 2016 following a trade with the Prince Albert Raiders. Over 281 career games, the 20-year-old has recorded 88 goals and 93 assists for 181 points along with 171 penalty minutes. The St. Albert, Alberta, product was named Hitmen Player of the Year last season leading the team with 80 points (43g, 37a). His 43 goals tied for sixth in the WHL.
“It’s a huge honour to be named captain,” said Gennaro. “The Hitmen are a great organization and I’m very proud to be part of the leadership group. Together with Beck, Jake, Luke and Mark we’re ready to lead the guys.”
Gennaro succeeds Derek Wood (1995-96), Jeremy Schaefer (1996-97), Ryan Shannon (1997-99), Brad Moran (1999-00), Kris Beech (2000-01), Rod Sarich (2001-02), Wade Davis (2002-03), Patrick Weller (2002-04), Ryan Getzlaf (2004-05), Brett Carson (2005-06), Dylan Yeo (2006-07), Karl Alzner (2007-08), Kyle Bortis and Carson McMillan (2008-09 co-captains), Ian Schultz and Michael Stone (2009-10 co-captains), Tyler Fiddler, Matt Mackenzie, Cody Sylvester and Ben Wilson (2010-11 co-captains), Cody Sylvester (2011-13), Jaynen Rissling (2013-14), Kenton Helgesen (2014-15), Colby Harmsworth (2015-16) and Micheal Zipp (2016-17) as captain.
Calgary, winners of two of their last three, is back on the ice on Friday, Oct. 20, when the team visits the Red Deer Rebels.