Czechia forward named new Rocket captain

Szturc new Rocket captain

Gabriel Szturc is the new captain of the Kelowna Rockets

Szturc replaces Colton Dach, who was dealt to the Seattle Thunderbirds earlier this month.

The 19-year-old native of Cesky Tesin, CZE, becomes the 28th captain in team history and the franchises first ever European captain.

"We are so excited for Gabriel," said Rockets president and general manager Hamilton.

"He has earned the utmost respect from his teammates, coaches and the fans. I congratulate him and look forward to watching his progress as a player and our captain."

In his second season in the Western Hockey League, Szturc is second in team scoring with 10 goals and 29 assists in 29 games.

"It means a lot to me to be named captain. I want to thank Bruce and Kris for this opportunity, it's a very big honour," said Szturc.

"I want to lead the Rockets by doing the right things on and off the ice. I'm going to keep doing the things that I've been doing and continue to be a role model for our younger players. I've learned from previous captains that they were at the front of the train leading the team to win, that's what I want to do here."

Head coach Kris Mallette calls Szturc a true leader, saying he is someone the team can rally behind.

"He's a player that comes in each and every day with a smile on his face; he works extremely hard in practice, in the gym and in games," said Mallette

"As a European, he has worked diligently on his English, much like everything in his game. He always challenges everyone to be their best."

He also helped lead Czechia to a silver medal at the recent world juniors.

Szturc will debut the "C" during a busy weekend.

The Rockets play the Giants in Langley Friday before hosting the Giants Saturday and the Victoria Royals Sunday.

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