McCrae Named Captain

December 1, 2008 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Spokane Chiefs News Release

The Spokane Chiefs have named 20-year-old Justin McCrae Team Captain. McCrae is in his fifth season in the WHL and is a captain for the second time in his career. The 6'0", Cochrane, Alberta native filled the same role for the Saskatoon Blades last season when the Chiefs acquired him at the trade deadline.

The Chiefs also announced that 20-year-old Seth Compton and 19-year-olds Jared Spurgeon and Drayson Bowman will wear A's as alternate captains.

"I think there are a lot of guys on the team who I consider to be good leaders so it feels pretty good to be named the captain," McCrae said.

"I went with the players, management, coaches and training staff's input and we felt with the core that we have now our best leadership group would be completed by having Justin McCrae as captain," Chiefs Head Coach Hardy Sauter said.

"I've always tried to lead by example, working hard on the ice and leading in the locker room and doing what needs to be done for the team," the forward said about his leadership style.

McCrae returned to action last Friday after missing 23 games with a knee injury suffered in his first game of the year on September 27th. He has one assist in three games.

In total, McCrae has played 274 career games with 60 goals, a career high 19 of them last year, and 151 points. McCrae was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

"The injury was tough. It was the longest I have ever been hurt and it is tough feeling like a part of the team, but I'm excited to be back and get going again," McCrae said.

Sauter said, "I look at our leadership group as a whole, those with letters and those without, and see guys like Trevor Glass, who has won two WHL championships and would like another. I see players like Dustin Donaghy, Jared Cowen, Levko Koper and Mike Reddington; guys who lead now, and can potentially be the ultimate leader in the future."

McCrae said, "It makes it a lot easier to know you have guys in the locker room who have your back. We have a very good core of leadership we can look to."

"One thing I know, with this group from night to night, the things that I never question are our character and our ability to compete," Sauter said.

McCrae will wear the captain's C for the first time this Wednesday when the Chiefs host the Calgary Hitmen on TicketsWest Player Magnet Wednesday. The Hitmen have won 11 in a row and are ranked third in the Canadian Hockey League.

The Annual Teddy Bear Toss presented by the Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, 101.1 FM and KAYU Fox 28 will take place on Saturday, December 6th when the Kootenay Ice visit the Spokane Arena.

Tickets to all home games are available by calling the Chiefs office at (509) 535-PUCK or TicketsWest at (800) 325-SEAT.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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