ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Rochester Grizzlies of the North American 3 Hockey League have announced Peyton Hart as their new captain for the 2019-20 season. Porter Haney and Lucas Newman will serve as alternate captains.
Hart, 18, is in his second season with the Grizzlies. As a rookie last year, Hart finished fifth on the team in scoring with 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) on the year. So far this season, the Delafield, WI native is off to another hot start. He sits second on the team in scoring with 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) trailing only Joey Fodstad.
“It’s an unreal honor. It’s my second season here and our second season as a franchise. It’s a huge honor to captain such a great group of guys like this,” said Hart. “As a young guy last year, I really wanted to be a leader among the young guys. I think coming back as a veteran and an older guy, in the eyes of some of the rookies, I think I needed to increase my role of leadership coming back this season.”
Repeating the trend from last season, Head Coach Chris Ratzloff waited a couple months into the season before naming his leadership group.
“We wanted to wait and see how guys stepped up as leaders instead of naming them right away. We wanted them to prove themselves ahead of time. Peyton has shown a lot of initiative to get the group together, to be a team,” said Ratzloff. “He’s shown us he’s got structure and likes to do things the right way. That’s one of the reasons we (myself and Assistant Coach Mike Aikens) made that decision. His teammates seem to respond to him and he pays attention to detail, so those are other reasons.”
Haney and Newman are also in their second seasons with the organization. Haney, 20, sits fourth on the team in points this season with 17 points (five goals, 12 assists). Newman, 19, and a Rochester, MN native, is third on the team in points with 18 (seven goals, 11 assists).
“They’re two guys that are very quiet guys. They lead by example, they do the right things. They show up to work hard every day. I think the main thing with those two is they lead by example and expect a lot out of themselves and out of their teammates. I think they’ll be a good compliment to Peyton,” said Ratzloff.
The Grizzlies have the week off from games before being back in action Thursday, Nov 21 on the road against the Coulee Region Chill. Rochester is back home Friday, Nov 29 and 30 against the Peoria Mustangs. Both games are 7pm start times from the Rochester Recreation Center.