Finding out you’ve been named captain of your team is good enough news, but hearing it from Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid only makes it better.
That was precisely the situation for Chicago Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram and Buffalo Sabres forward Dylan Cozens on Saturday.
McDavid appeared on the video screen at the team’s practice facility to break the big news. Dach was named captain of Canada for the World Junior Championships with Byram and Cozens tabbed alternate captains.
“This is a real honor for me, to get to announce the captains to you guys,” McDavid said in the video. “There’s nothing more special than winning a gold medal on Canadian soil.”
McDavid went on to give a little background on each player, announcing Dach last.
“That was pretty cool,” Dach said. “Obviously he’s a guy that I think everybody in this room kind of looks up to and how good of a player he is. I’ve had the opportunity to play against him a couple times and had a good playoff series [against the Oilers], so it’s pretty special and unique to have him announce not only myself but Bowen and Dylan as the captains and leaders of this team.”
“Pretty cool coming from a guy like that. He’s a pretty big figure in Canada, and hockey in general,” Byram said. “To have him reach out and do something cool like that is pretty special and definitely something I’ll remember for a while.”
According to Canada coach Andre Tourigny, the surprise was arranged by Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s senior vice president.
“It was definitely unexpected,” Cozens said. “They put something on the screen, we’re not quite sure what it was going to be, but you see a guy like that, the resume he has in the NHL and with Hockey Canada, it’s pretty cool to see a guy like that read your name as one of the leaders on the team.”
NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor Adam Kimelman contributed to this report.