Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club introduced their 2017-2018 leadership group prior to the Dairy Queen Home Opener Friday against the Medicine Hat Tigers. The ‘Canes introduced Jordy Bellerive, Tanner Nagel and Ryan Vandervlis as their Alternate Captains while five year veteran Giorgio Estephan was named the franchise’s 25th Captain.
Estephan, 20, enters his fifth and final season with the Hurricanes. Originally a fourth overall selection in the 2012 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, Estephan has played 258 games as a ‘Cane recording 239 points (101g-138a) with 87 penalty minutes. He currently sits 12th in franchise games played, 13th in all-time goals, 10th in all-time assists and 16th in all-time points.
“It’s a privilege to be the Captain of the Hurricanes. It’s something very special and I’m definitely honoured,” said Estephan. “I’m not the most vocal person, so I’ll definitely have to step that up, but I’m more of a lead by example guy. We have a lot of leaders in our room and I know they’ll help me out as best they can.”
Bellerive, 18, enters his second year as an Alternate Captain. The former second overall pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft enters his third season with the ‘Canes. Last season he set a career high in goals (27) and points (56). He recently signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nagel, 19, enters his second season with the Hurricanes and second season as an Alternate Captain. The product of Mossbank, Saskatchewan was acquired prior to the start of last season from the Portland Winterhawks. He set a career high with 16 points (10g-6a) with 88 penalty minutes in 2016-2017.
Vandervlis, 19, is a newly appointed Alternate Captain. The four year veteran has played his entire career with the Hurricanes after signing after going undrafted in the Bantam Draft. The product of Red Deer has appeared in 143 games over his three prior seasons collecting 48 points (19g-29a). Vandervlis had a very strong post-season last year registering 14 points (8g-6a) in 17 playoff games.
“It was an easy decision for Giorgio to be our Captain. He’s been here a lot time and he’s been a part of our leadership group for a lot time. I think it’s a natural progression and one that he deserves and earned,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio. “Tanner and Jordy were alternates last year and they did a great job with that. Ryan has been a guy that has been a key part of our group for a long time.”