The New York Islanders announced this morning that Anders Lee has been named the 15th captain in franchise history.
This is pretty cool, frankly, and affirms the overall impression of Lee as a budding leader and spiritual center of the team.
Going back to his draft day, Lee was spoken of as potential “future captain material” and exhibited the mentality of a level-headed leader. It’s been a long road since that day — a very successful gap year in the USHL, three years at NCAA Notre Dame, time in AHL Bridgeport, some ups and downs in the NHL — but now the moment has arrived.
New coach Barry Trotz called it a no-brainer, “clear as day” choice:
Barry Trotz said after talking with all the #Isles players and observing training camp and the interactions among the teammates, Anders Lee was a no-brainer choice to be captain.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 4, 2018
“When I first got the opportunity to coach the Islanders, we talked to every player. It was clear as day to me that Anders would be the fifteenth captain of the Islanders." - #Isles Head Coach Barry Trotz pic.twitter.com/TKARjOhd0e— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 4, 2018
Denis Potvin checked in with him, too.
He has one year left on his contract before potentially becoming an unrestricted free agent. But right now the focus is on this season, and this new role. Besides, we figured he’s one they’ll want to keep for precisely those qualities.
Lee on captaincy with 1 year left on deal: "To me, I don't think they would have done this if they didn't feel it was right. Things are going to play themselves out. I'm not too worried about that in that regard right now at all. This season is what we're worried about." #Isles— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) October 4, 2018
Congratulations to #27!