Gabriel Landeskog won’t be 20 years old until this upcoming November, but that didn’t stop the Colorado Avalanche from naming him the new team captain. At 19 years old, Landeskog is the youngest player to be named the captain of an NHL team in the history of the league.
Landeskog is a former first round pick who was selected 2nd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. At 18 years old the team thought Landeskog was NHL ready and he started his rookie campaign during the 20011-12 season. He showed he was more than ready by playing in all 82 games and tallying 22 goals with 30 assists for a solid 52 points, which also was enough points to lead all rookies. He was awarded the Calder Trophy after the season for his efforts, which is handed out annually to the rookie of the year.
Some skeptics say Landeskog is too young and shouldn’t be burdened with the load of being a captain, to them I say look at Landeskog’s history. Before he was drafted all the scouts were saying he was very mature and NHL ready. While playing with his junior team, the Kitchener Rangers, Landeskog who hails from Sweden became the first European born player to be named captain of the Rangers. Landeskog was also an alternate captain for Team Sweden in the 2011 World Junior Championships and an alternate captain for Team Sweden in the 2012 World Championships (Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was the team captain). History shows he’s always been a leader and he’s shown it on every level. Now, its time for him to show it on the NHL level.
Colorado has a relatively young roster and with Landeskog’s leadership, style of play and work ethic, he appears to have been an easy choice to become the Avalanche’s next captain. It just so happens, he also is the youngest captain in the history of the NHL. No pressure kid.
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