The Winnipeg Jets have a new leader, one year after stripping the C from Blake Wheeler and deciding to play without a captain.
Adam Lowry, who has been a Jet since 2011 when he was drafted 67th overall, is the new captain of the NHL team — its third since relocating to Winnipeg from Atlanta in 2011.
Andrew Ladd served as captain from 2011 until 2016, when Wheeler took over.
“When I found out, I was pretty excited, almost a little speechless. It’s something growing up you kind of can dream about and something that seems almost unattainable,” Lowry said in a news release on the team’s website.
“Getting to be a captain of a Canadian NHL team is pretty special and something I’m really looking forward to.”
The 30-year-old centre wore an A last season, serving as an alternate for the first time, along with Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele. The latter two will serve as alternates again this year, the team said.
Lowry has played 621 NHL games, collecting 93 goals and 111 assists, as well as 335 penalty minutes. In 44 career playoff games he has nine goals and nine assists.
Lowry follows in the footsteps of his dad, Dave, who played over 1,000 games in the NHL and is currently an assistant coach with the Seattle Kraken, after serving as an assistant coach for the Jets from November 2020 until the end of last season.
Dave was captain of the Calgary Flames as he wound down his NHL career in the early 2000s.
“To kind of have my father having gone through that experience of having been a captain in a Canadian market and not necessarily be the superstar that’s leading the team. It’s more of a third- and fourth-line guy and you can still find value, lead a team, you can still bring a team together,” Lowry said in the Jets news release.
Lowry said he plans to reach out to a few people for advice, among them former teammate Jacob Trouba, who is now with the New York Rangers.
“He’s captain of the Rangers and that’s a pretty big hockey market that he has to navigate. He’s done a tremendous job,” Lowry said.
The 37-year-old Wheeler, meanwhile, is also a Ranger. The Jets placed him on unconditional waivers in the summer, with the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract.
On July 1, he was signed as a free agent with New York. Wheeler leaves the Jets as the franchise leader in regular-season games played (897), points (812), assists (550) and shots (2,462).