The Calgary Hitmen Hockey Club today announced the 2018-19 leadership group with Mark Kastelic named the 26th captain in franchise history.
Luke Coleman and Dakota Krebs will serve as full-time alternate captains while Jake Kryski and Riley Stotts will share the third ‘A’.
“Mark epitomizes everything we are looking for in a captain,” said General Manager Jeff Chynoweth. “He leads by example both on and off the ice. As a team we feel our leadership is in great hands with a number of players that could wear letters other than the five named today.”
Kastelic, entering his fourth WHL season, was Calgary second round pick, 41st overall, in the 2014 Bantam Draft. In 197 career regular season games, the 19-year-old has recorded 41 goals and 49 assists for 90 points. The Phoenix, AZ product took home the Jr. Hitmen Players’ Choice Award last season finishing third in team scoring with 45 points including a career-high 23 goals.
“I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity and do not take this for granted,” said Kastelic. “It is a huge honour to have the support of both the coaching staff and my teammates. I am going to continue to do what has got me to this point, not changing too much, but continue to be a leader.”
Kastelic, who was an alternate captain last season, 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), Micheal Zipp (2016-17) and Matteo Gennaro (2017-18) as captain.
Calgary starts the 68-game regular season schedule in Cranbrook against the Kootenay ICE on Saturday, September 22.
The Hitmen home opening weekend begins Saturday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m. in the Papa John’s Pizza Home Opener against the Edmonton Oil Kings. Calgary returns to Scotiabank Saddledome ice the next day in a Sunday matinee, September 30, against the Red Deer Rebels. It’s the annual Shrine Challenge presented by the Al Azhar Shriners Society. Game time is 4:00 p.m.
The 2018-19 Hitmen Hockey Pass is on sale and includes 34 game tickets to be used anytime, in any combination. Pass holders also receive a $50 Scotiabank Saddledome gift card and a complimentary ticket to a select Flames, Roughnecks or Stampeders game. Passes start at less than $7 per ticket for kids and under $15 for adults.