Saskatoon, Sask. – The Saskatoon Blades announced their leadership group on Thursday afternoon ahead of the 2018-19 regular season opener on Friday night in Swift Current.
Chase Wouters has been named the 59th captain in team history. Joining Wouters in the leadership group is 20-year-old defensemen Dawson Davidson, 20-year-old winger Max Gerlach, and 19-year-old winger Josh Paterson.
Wouters, 18, is entering his third full season in the Western Hockey League with the Saskatoon Blades. The announcement comes on the heels of Wouters returning early Thursday morning from training camp with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Originally form Lloydminster, Alberta, Wouters was drafted by the Blades in the 1st round of the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, 19th overall. Last season Wouters hit career highs in goals (18) and points (51). He was also a member of Team Canada’s Under-18 squad in April, and won a silver medal with Team Canada at the World U17 Challenge back in 2016.
Chase Wouters will be supported by alternate captains Dawson Davidson, Max Gerlach, and Josh Paterson, all of whom have over 200 career WHL games under their belt. In the event of injury or absence, Kirby Dach will serve as the fourth alternate.
Davidson and Gerlach are entering their final year in the Western Hockey League as two of the three Blades’ overagers. Both were acquired in January of 2018 at the trade deadline and will provide a veteran presence to both the forward and defensive groups.
Gerlach, a native of Texas, is coming off his third straight 30+ goal season and recently returned to Saskatoon from Arizona Coyotes training camp.
Dawson Davidson, who leads the group in career games played with 233, is coming off a career year last season with personal bests in goals (10) and points (43).
The third alternate captain is the Blades’ reigning iron-man, Josh Paterson. The 19-year-old from Edmonton, Alberta, was drafted by the Blades in 2014, and will enter his fourth campaign with Saskatoon this weekend. Paterson has played a total of 145 consecutive games over the last three seasons.
The Blades opening the 2018-19 hockey season on Friday night in Swift Current as they visit the reigning league champion Broncos. Both teams will then return to Saskatoon on Saturday for the Blades’ home opener at SaskTel Centre at 7:00pm.