Rockets name Gabriel Szturc 28th Captain
Kelowna Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton announced today that 19-year-old forward Gabriel Szturc has been named the 28th captain in franchise history.
“We are so excited for Gabriel,” said 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.”
Szturc takes over as captain for Colton Dach, who was traded earlier this month. He’s the first European captain in Rockets franchise history.
“It means a lot to me to be named captain,” said Szturc. “I want to thank Bruce and Kris for this opportunity, it’s a very big honour. 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.”
The Cesky Tesin, Czechia product is in his second Western Hockey League season with the Rockets. He was originally selected 44th overall by the Rockets in the first round of the 2021 CHL Import Draft.
“He’s a true leader, he’s someone that our group will rally behind and follow in his footsteps,” said Rockets head coach Kris Mallette. “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. As a European, he has worked diligently on his English, much like everything in his game. He always challenges everyone to be their best.”
Szturc has appeared in 96 WHL regular-season games, posting 80 points (26G, 54A) and 26 penalty minutes.
A late 2003 birthdate, Szturc will be eligible for the NHL Draft for the second time this year. NHL Central Scouting announced earlier this week that he’s ranked No. 181 among North American skaters on their mid-season rankings for the upcoming 2023 NHL Draft.
Szturc will debut with the ‘C’ tomorrow night when the Rockets visit the Vancouver Giants at the Langley Events Centre. Rockets fans first chance to see Szturc with the C at Prospera Place will be on Saturday when the Giants visit Prospera Place.
Single-game tickets for all Rockets home games are on sale at Select Your Tickets. Tickets can be purchased online through www.selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office, or by phone at 250-762-5050.
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— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) January 19, 2023