NHL Captaincy Prediction: Who Will Be Named Next Captain?

In the world of pro hockey, leadership is super important. Sometimes, old team captains leave, and it’s time for new ones to step up. Right now, some NHL teams are looking for their next captain. It’s an exciting time with lots of possibilities. I will talk about teams that don’t have a captain yet. Each team has its own story, from the famous Boston Bruins to the brand-new Seattle Kraken. Let’s dive in and see who might become the next captain.

Nine NHL Teams in Search of Their Next Captain

1. Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Jets had a long-serving captain in the form of Blake Wheeler when he started his tenure in 2016, which ended in 2022. After that, the Jets opted to go without a captain for the previous season, but now the question arises: who will be the next captain to guide the Jets?

One name that stands out prominently is Josh Morrissey. His consistent presence on the ice and deep-rooted connection to the Jets make Morrissey a compelling candidate for the captaincy. Many believe he’s the natural choice to fill Wheeler’s shoes. However, Adam Lowry, who wore an alternate captain’s “A,” is another strong contender. Lowry’s leadership qualities have not gone unnoticed, and he could step up as the next captain.

In the coming season, Jets fans will eagerly await the announcement of their new captain, hoping for a leader who can inspire and guide the team to success. Josh Morrissey seems to be the leading candidate, but the final decision remains in the hands of the Winnipeg Jets organization.

2. Anaheim Ducks

In Anaheim, the Ducks search for their next captain after Ryan Getzlaf’s retirement in 2022. After a year without a captain, two strong contenders have emerged: Cam Fowler and Troy Terry. Cam Fowler’s lengthy tenure with the team and his experience and age make him a logical choice. He knows the ins and outs of the Ducks’ organization and can lead by example on and off the ice.

On the other hand, Troy Terry recently signed a contract extension, signaling his commitment to the team’s long-term vision. His growing influence and on-ice performance make him an intriguing option for captaincy.

While these two players stand out, the future is unpredictable, and rising stars like Zagers could surprise us all. Ducks fans eagerly await the decision shaping their team’s destiny, knowing that the next captain will play a pivotal role in the team’s journey on the ice.

3. Boston Bruins 

Patrice Bergeron held the captaincy for three years, from 2021 to 2023, following in the footsteps of the iconic Zdeno Chára. Patrice Bergeron’s ascension to captaincy felt like a long-awaited moment for many fans. His leadership qualities were evident for years, even before he officially wore the ‘C’ on his jersey. This transition from Chára to Bergeron was smooth, acknowledging the greatness of both players.

Now, as the Bruins look ahead to the future, the question of who will be the next captain looms large. Brad Marchand stands out as a natural choice. If he wants the role, it’s likely his for the taking. Marchand has been a fixture in the Bruins’ lineup for an eternity, and his on-ice performance is still top-notch.

Another contender in the mix is Charlie McAvoy. Despite his relatively short time in the NHL, McAvoy has shown remarkable maturity and poise on and off the ice. His potential as a future captain is evident, and he could be a strong candidate. David Pastrňák, nicknamed “Pasta,” is another player to watch. While he might not be an immediate frontrunner, his leadership qualities could develop and earn him consideration.

4. Calgary flames 

Mark Giordano, a stalwart presence, held the captain’s mantle from 2013 until 2021. However, the Flames decided not to name a new captain after Giordano’s departure, leaving fans and analysts speculating about who might step into those big shoes.

One name that naturally surfaces in conversations is Michael Backlund. He seems like an obvious choice, given his experience and leadership qualities. But here’s the twist: You want a capable and committed captain for the long haul. Backlund’s contract status adds a layer of uncertainty, as he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. This raises the possibility that Backlund might not be the one to lead the team if he decides to explore other options.

So, who else could step into the role? Jonathan Huberdeau enters the conversation. He boasts a lengthy contract, making him an exciting candidate. The Flames could consider him for the captaincy if the circumstances align. But it’s not just about Backlund and Huberdeau; several potential leaders are in the Flames’ roster. Elias Lindholm and Christopher Tanev are worth mentioning. They could become viable captaincy candidates if they desire to remain with the Flames long-term.

5. Chicago Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews, an iconic figure in Chicago Blackhawks history, recently stepped down from his role as captain, ending an impressive captaincy stint that began in 2008 and lasted until 2023. Toews will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the NHL’s finest captains, leaving big shoes to fill in the Windy City.

One name that comes to mind is Nick Foligno. While some might argue for rookie sensation Connor Bedard, appointing Foligno as captain for the upcoming season might be wise. Foligno’s one-year contract aligns well with this transitional period, and he has prior captaincy experience in the NHL.

However, the Blackhawks have another intriguing candidate in Seth Jones, who recently joined the team. The decision ultimately hinges on the long-term vision for Bedard. If he’s destined to be the face of the franchise and the next leader, a scenario could unfold where Foligno takes the captaincy for a season, paving the way for Bedard to assume the role next year.

Surprisingly, we’ve seen younger players ascend to captaincy roles earlier in their careers, as exemplified by Connor McDavid. This unconventional approach could work, as Bedard possesses immense potential and leadership qualities.

6. Philadelphia Flyers

Claude Giroux, a prominent figure in Philadelphia Flyers history, held the captain’s role from 2012 until 2021. His departure leaves the Flyers in a position to select their next leader, a decision that carries considerable weight in the organization.

The most natural choice is Sean Couturier, who has been a staple of the team. However, the tale has a twist – Couturier missed the entire last season due to injury. On the other hand, Scott Laughton also emerges as a contender. He served as an alternate captain last year, indicating that the team sees leadership potential in him. This status could propel Laughton into consideration for the coveted captain’s “C.”

The Flyers have a crucial decision to make as they chart the course for their leadership. Will they opt for the experienced and familiar Couturier or trust Laughton, who has already shown promise in a leadership role? Flyers fans eagerly await the verdict as the next captain’s era is set to begin in the City of Brotherly Love.

7. Seattle Kraken

Seattle’s hockey journey began with Mark Giordano, albeit for a single season cut short by a trade in 2021-22. As the inaugural season unfolded for the Seattle Kraken, the search for their first official captain intensified.

One name stands out prominently: Jared McCann. His exceptional performance during the previous season and his contract status make him a strong contender for the captaincy. McCann could bring stability and leadership to the Kraken.

Yet, there’s another compelling option in Yanni Gourde, a player with two consecutive Stanley Cup victories with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gourde’s wealth of experience and winning mentality could make him a tempting choice to lead the Kraken into uncharted waters. Meanwhile, the emergence of Matty Beniers, fresh off a Calder Trophy win and showing promise as an outstanding two-way forward, adds a layer of intrigue to the captaincy decision.

8. St. Louis Blues 

Ryan O’Reilly’s captaincy era with the St. Louis Blues, which spanned from 2020 to 2023, brought stability and leadership to the team. With his departure, the Blues face the critical task of selecting their next captain, which carries significant responsibility.

Two strong candidates emerge as the frontrunners: Brayden Schenn and Colton Parayko. Schenn’s valuable contract and veteran leadership make him a compelling choice. Parayko’s presence and previous experience wearing an “A” for the Blues add to his credibility as a captain-in-waiting.

However, the future may hold surprises, with Calle Rosen and Robert Thomas also running for the captaincy. The Blues have several players capable of leading the team effectively.

9. Arizona  Coyotes

For the Arizona Coyotes, the captaincy has seen a few notable names, with Oliver Ekman-Larsson holding the reins from 2018 to 2021 and the legendary Shane Doan being the longest-serving captain in franchise history.

However, the Coyotes have been without a captain for a while now, and the question on everyone’s mind is when and who will take up the mantle. One name that stands out prominently is Clayton Keller. His growth and development over the years have made him a strong candidate for this esteemed position. Lawson Crouse is another player who could step into the role of captain. He possesses the qualities and character traits often associated with leadership in the NHL.

The Coyotes might keep the captaincy vacant for a little longer. The past two years without a designated captain may have shown them that leadership can be collective and dynamic, not tied to a single individual. It could be a fantastic decision if they choose to name Clayton Keller as the captain. He’s a talented player and has matured into a role model for his teammates, making him a natural fit for the captaincy.

Conclusion

So, in the NHL, choosing a captain is a big deal. It’s not just about being a good player; it’s about being a leader. We talked about teams without captains, and it’s clear that these choices are essential. Whether the experienced Bruins or the fresh Kraken, the next captains will carry the team’s history with them. It’s an exciting time for hockey fans as we wait to see who will lead these teams into the future.

Leave a Comment