Leadership cannot be underestimated. Good leaders can go a long way towards the betterment of a team, in this case the Sudbury Wolves.
The Ontario Hockey League team has confirmed that fourth-year forward Michael Pezzetta — a National Hockey League draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens — will serve as the Wolves captain as the 2017-2018 season moves forward.
As Pezzetta will wear the “C” on his jersey, veteran defensemen Kyle Rhodes and Reagan O’Grady will round out the Wolves leadership group as alternate captains.
First-year Wolves coach Cory Stillman commented on the team’s choice of leadership.
“We have been together as a team for only about eight weeks now and there has been a tremendous amount of change that has taken place during the (early part) of the season,” relayed Stillman. “You let the players naturally get into the roles that they will succeed in and demonstrate their abilities to lead.
“Everyone is learning, everyone is leading in their own way and this is a part of forming the identify of this year’s club. Michael will be a good leader and I am sure the veterans and everyone will support him,” Stillman added.
As for Pezzetta, he is not taking his leadership role lightly.
“I am excited and honoured to be named captain of the Wolves, after so many great captains that have come before me,” said Pezzetta. “We have some great leaders on the team and I know with Rhodesy and Reags by my side we can help Coach Stillman further the development of this team and take everyone’s game to the next level.
“I’m confident that we will continue to work hard and earn what we achieve together as a team,” Pezzetta added.
Pezzetta joins an impressive list of players who have been Wolves captains in a Sudbury OHL history that began in 1972.
Among those who have worn the captain’s jersey for the Wolves include Greater Metro Hockey League president Bobby Russell, Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League commissioner Robert Mazzuca and former and current National Hockey League players Ron Duguay, Mike Foligno, Pat Verbeek, Paul DiPietro, Mike Fisher, Marc Staal and Marcus Foligno.
DiPietro, a Sault Ste. Marie native, served as Wolves captain during the 1989-1990 season, one in which he scored 56 goals and racked up 119 points.