Passing The Torch - Landeskog Named Captain

Tuesday, 09.04.2012 / 4:16 PM
ColoradoAvalanche.com - Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche

A New Chapter Unfolds

Gabriel Landeskog is the new team captain of the Colorado Avalanche.

He was appointed captain by head coach Joe Sacco after Milan Hejduk informed the coaching staff that he has relinquished his role.

At 19 years, 286 days, Landeskog became the youngest captain in NHL history. He is 11 days younger than Sidney Crosby, who was 19 years, 297 days when he was named captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 31, 2007.

Gabriel’s NHL career spans all of one season, so far. But what he accomplished during his rookie season is worth noting.

Landeskog led the Avs in games (82), goals (22), plus/minus (+20), shots (270), hits (219) and game-winning goals (5-tied). He became the youngest player in franchise history to lead the team in goal scoring and his 270 shots were a franchise rookie record and the second-highest total by a rookie left wing in NHL history. He became the first Swedish-born teenager in NHL history to reach either the 20-goal or 50-point milestone.

Among his peers, Landeskog finished tied for first among rookies with 52 points (22 goals / 30 assists) and led all rookies in shots and takeaways (58), while ranking second in plus/minus, game-winning goals, power-play goals (6-tied) and hits. He became only the second NHL rookie to ever surpass 20 goals and 200 hits in a season, joining Dion Phaneuf with Calgary in 2005-06.

Landeskog ranked second among league rookies in goals and was third in assists, making him the only player to rank among the top three rookies in all three categories.

His strong rookie campaign earned him a trip to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Nev., where he won the 2012 Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year on June 20, 2012.

A Born Leader

Being a leader is nothing new for Gabriel Landeskog.

Internationally, he captained Sweden’s under-16, under-17 and under-18 teams.

He wore the ‘C’ for the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) during his final season of junior hockey in 2010-11, becoming the first European captain in the 48-year history of the Rangers franchise. Having been named captain at the age of 17 on Oct. 24, 2010, Landeskog became the youngest player in 30 years to be named captain of the Rangers.

Landeskog recently served as an alternate captain for Team Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Championship in Helsinki and Stockholm and was an alternate captain for Sweden at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y.

In His Own Words

“I'm so humbled and grateful for this opportunity, and what an honor to follow the footsteps of the past captains for the Avs. I couldn't be more excited and I'm truly looking forward to the challenge. Thank you all for the kind words and the support!” said Landeskog, via his official Twitter account.

Taking To Twitter

Gabriel’s teammates expressed their congratulations on his captaincy via Twitter today.

Paul Stastny (@PaulyWalnuts26) tweeted “Congratulations to my boy @GabeLandeskog92 for being name captain! What an honor, well deserved. #naturalbornleader #greatStyle”

David Jones (@djones5454), who became a father earlier in the morning, tweeted “Congrats to @GabeLandeskog92 on becoming first NHL captain to pour his milk before his cereal......I mean youngest captain ever! #beauty”

Matt Duchene (@Matt9Duchene): “Congrats to @GabeLandeskog92 on being named Captain! Well deserved big guy”

Jamie McGinn (@JamieMcGinn11): “Congrats to @GabeLandeskog92 on being named #CaptainLandy for the #Avs #brightfuture”

Ryan O’Byrne (@ryanobyrne84): “Congrats to @GabeLandeskog92 on being named captain of the @Avalanche. Youngest captain in NHL History. Well deserved!! #stud”

Ryan O’Reilly (@Ryan_OReilly90): “Congrats @GabeLandeskog92 on youngest captain in NHL history. Amazing player and even better guy. #welldeserved #stud #greatStyle”

Shane O’Brien (@ShaneOBrien55), who often refers to Landeskog as a “young stud,” tweeted: “Congrats to @GabeLandeskog92 on being named Captain all I have to say to him is I can't wait for the Captains Dinner on the road! #redwine”

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