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‘He’s the heartbeat of our team’: Canadiens name youngest captain in team history

Canadiens, Nick Suzuki

The Montreal Canadiens traded team captain Shea Weber to the Vegas Golden Knights this offseason. Taking his place as captain is a former Golden Knights draft pick, Nick Suzuki.

The team announced the 23-year-old as captain on Monday. He becomes the youngest captain in Canadiens franchise history. Before Suzuki, Sylvio Mantha was the youngest to wear the C on his jersey. Mantha wore the C in 1926-27 at just 24 years old.

Suzuki is the second player of Asian descent in NHL history to be named a full-time captain. Paul Kariya captained the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from 1996 to 2003.

“It’s an honor for me to become captain of the Montreal Canadiens,” Suzuki said. “It’s a true honor for me and a privilege. This team is headed in a great direction and I couldn’t be more excited to be the captain and represent the team.

“It means a lot just to see the respect that the management, teammates, coaches have for me. I know it’s a big role but I think I’m ready for it, and there’s a bright future here and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Some will question giving the honor to such a young player. However, his teammates have had nothing but rave reviews for the new Canadiens captain.

“I think the most important thing is he has the respect of every single guy in our locker room. He’s the heartbeat of our team. The biggest thing is we’re trying to win some hockey games. We have a leader that we’re happy to follow and we think is going to be able to take us there,” said forward Brendan Gallagher.