(FREDERICTON, NB) Fifth-year forward Dylan Willick (Prince George, BC) will captain the UNB Varsity Reds for the 2017-18 season. Three players will serve as assistant captains. Veteran defenceman Randy Gazzola (Thorold, ON) and fourth-year forward Matt Boudens (Pembroke, ON) will wear an ‘A’ all season, while four players will rotate through the position, five games at a time. Fourth-year defenceman Colin Suellentrop (Plantation, FLA) will be the first.
“Dylan personifies a true Varsity Red in his passion and commitment to being the very best in whatever he pursues,” said Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “He’s continually finding ways to improve himself as a person, player and community ambassador. He’s a team-first player who will do a great job in leading our group in our pursuits for the upcoming season.”
Willick, who is working on his Masters of Business Administration, has previous experience as a captain with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. He served as their team captain in 2012-13, after two seasons as an assistant captain. Willick succeeds Cameron Critchlow as captain.
“There’s not a point in changing what or who you are because there’s a letter on your chest,” said Willick, after UNB’s regular season opening win, on Wednesday. “As you get into a more veteran position on the team, you want them looking up to you, you want to be the direction for the young guys.”
In four seasons as a Varsity Red, Willick is a two-time national champion, four-time Atlantic University Sport pennant winner, and a four-time Academic All-Canadian. He says his style of leadership may be different than what the team has seen recently.
“I’ll never be as vocal as a Cam Critchlow, for instance, that’s not really the way I’ll be. We have a lot more guys, who are wearing A’s that are a lot more vocal and can be those guys, and that’s a big part of how this team work, everybody shares their own portion of the role so it’s easier for each guy and the team still has great leadership throughout.”