UPDATED: Nevins named Islanders captain

Jason Malloy
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Vance, Graves, Laplante to be the team's assistants

A year ago Jack Nevins was a free agent looking for a place to continue his dream of playing professional hockey.

Dealing with a hip injury, he was unable to crack a deep London Knights lineup in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The Stittsville, Ont., native signed with P.E.I. Rocket and never looked back.

Nevins quickly endeared himself to the Island fans with a physical, tough brand of hockey, while standing up for his teammates.

The Charlottetown Islanders named him the first captain of rebranded team on Thursday.

“I couldn’t imagine being in this position a year ago today,” Nevins admitted.

When he arrived in Charlottetown last fall it was his first time on the Island and Matt Bursey was the only player or coach he knew.

“I didn’t know really what to expect,” he recalled. “I just came in with an open mind and ready to work.”

That workmanlike approach earned him a regular spot for 51 games last season. But as one of nine 20-year-old players who could return, Nevins was unsure what his hockey future would hold. Each team can only dress three.

“There was a little bit of uncertainty not knowing if I had a spot coming back here. That was a little bit of an incentive to really work hard,” Nevins said. “I just came into camp in the best shape of my life.”

He hasn’t disappointed the coaching staff or his teammates.

“We let it kind of play out since the start of the season and Jack has been the unanimous choice,” coach Gordie Dwyer said.

“He came to camp with the right mindset. He’s hungry. He was prepared. His hard work and perseverance has paid off.”

Dwyer announced the decision to the players at centre ice of the Eastlink Centre before Thursday’s practice.

“It was a pretty special feeling and one I won’t forget anytime soon,” Nevins said.

It will be the first time he will be a captain for a team.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “It’s kind of like a reward for all the hard work I put in through the years.”

Nevins said he was thinking of his parents and sister and all they had done for him over the years.

“My family has helped me a lot,” he said.

“I think back to past captains I have played with,” he said. “Josh Currie was a hell of a captain and if I can do half a good a job as him, I think I’ll be just fine.”

Nevins describes his game as a gritty forward with strong work ethic who will do whatever it takes to win.

He went undrafted in the OHL, but earned a role by providing energy with a big hit or a fight.

“I had to earn my spot. That’s what got me there. And that’s what got me where I am today,” he said.

This year Nevins has opened some eyes by leading the first-place Islanders (7-1-0-1) in scoring with three goals and 10 assists in nine games.

“I always wanted an opportunity, but I didn’t get one up until this year and am just making the most of it right now,” Nevins said.

That start has attracted some interest from pro teams and he uses that as incentive.

“It keeps you hungry,” he said, to “keep pushing to get better every day.”

The assistant captains will be Troy Vance, Ryan Graves and Yan-Pavel Laplante.

All three players have attended NHL camps.

“They’re real good players and they’re real good leaders too, and I am lucky to have those guys with me,” Nevins said.

Dwyer said he is fortunate to have a team full of players with great character.

“The talk with the rest of our team was we want 23 leaders in our dressing room, regardless if you’re wearing an A or a C,” he said.

Jack Nevins

u Team – Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL).

u Hometown – Stittsville, Ont.

u Age – 20.

u Size – Six-foot-two, 210 pounds.

u Jersey number – 18.

u Position – Left wing.

u Statistics -

Season    Team    GP    G    A    Pts. PIM

2013-14    Ch’town    9    3    10    13    30

2012-13    P.E.I.    51    8    7    15    103

2012-13    London    2    0    0    0    0

2011-12    Kingston    23    1    5    6    25

2011-12    Sarnia    36    4    1    5    60    

u The coach says – “His teammates respect him and look up to him and he’s certainly set the tone early in the season for our hockey club.” - Gordie Dwyer.

 

Previous Captains

u 2012-13 - Josh Currie

u 2011-12 - Matthew Hobbs, Josh Currie

u 2010-11 - Travis McIsaac

u 2009-10 - Jean-Philippe Mathieu

u 2008-09 - Matthew Lachaine, Maxime Provencher and Joel Champagne

u 2007-08 - Pierre-Luc Lessard, Bryan Main, Geoff Walker and Matthew Lachaine

u 2006-07 - David Laliberte, Marc-André Gragnani

u 2005-06 - David Laliberte

v2004-05    Maxim Lapierre

u 2003-04 - Pierre-André Bureau

u 2002-03 - Pierre-André Bureau

Wikipedia

What The Coach Says About ...

 

Jack Nevins

“He plays hard. He’s strong in all areas and he strives to improve. I think those are great qualities of a leader.”

 

Troy Vance

“He’s been excellent since the start of the season. He’s a mature individual. He plays with purpose. He wants to make it to the National Hockey League one day and he realizes the steps he has to take.”

 

Yan-Pavel Laplante and Ryan Graves

“(They) are two of the guys we brought up through our system that are third-year players, both drafted into the National Hockey League, we feel they’re ready to take the next step.”

Tonight’s Game

u Teams - Charlottetown Islanders (7-1-0-1); Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (4-3-1-1)

u When – 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre

u Head-to-head - Sept. 14 at Eastlink Arena: Charlottetown 3, Cape Breton 2 (SO); Sept. 20 at Centre 200: Charlottetown 5, Cape Breton 4.

u Top scorers - Cape Breton: C Cameron Darcy (5G, 10A in 9GP), D Jeremy Beaudry (2G, 8A in 9GP) and C Julien Pelletier (6G, 3A in 9GP); Charlottetown: LW Jack Nevins (3G, 10A in 9GP), RW Daniel Sprong (5G, 6A in 9GP) and LW Matej Beran (4G, 4A in 9GP)

u Top goalie - Cape Breton: Maxime Lagace 2-3-0-1 with 2.97 GAA

Charlottetown: – Antoine Bibeau 4-0-0-1 with 3.54

u Did you know? -

– Seven of Beaudry’s eight assists have come on the power play.

– Sprong has scored in four straight games. He has four goals and three assists during that time.

u Lineup – The Islanders are healthy with Matt Bursey being a game-time decision after recently suffering a concussion. He was practising with the team on Thursday.

u Pinking out the rink – The Islanders will be sporting their pink jerseys tonight in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The jerseys will be raffled off to fans at the game as a way to raise funds for breast cancer research, education and awareness.

The team will also be donating a portion of ticket sales to the Atlantic chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Fans are encouraged to wear pink tonight as well to show their support.

The team hosted its annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser Wednesday at East Side Mario’s, raising $1,650 for breast cancer awareness. East Side Mario's general manager Michael Roberts called it a "huge success."

"The restaurant was full of Islanders supporting a great cause," he said. "The hockey club did a fantastic job serving tables and the guests really loved being able to meet their local hockey stars in person."

In total, East Side Mario’s Charlottetown has raised more than $3,500 with the spaghetti dinner and its give-and-receive promotion.

Organizations: Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League.He

Geographic location: Stittsville

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  • Rahul singh
    October 12, 2013 - 01:26

    Nationl, state, 1st place.