Step aside, Jonathan Toews. Move over, Sidney Crosby. There’s a new youthful NHL team captain in town, a man too young to remember having Ronald Reagan–or, really, George Bush, Sr.–as president, and he’s making history as the new youngest team captain in NHL history.
Ladies and gentlemen, the new captain of the Colorado Avalanche, Gabriel Landeskog!
Landeskog, born at the end of November 1992 in Sweden, was named the team’s newest captain today. He’s only the fourth in the history of the Avalanche–not counting the team’s time in Quebec. He succeeds Milan Hejduk, who held the captaincy for a year, and follows in the footsteps of Adam Foote and Joe Sakic.
Also, at the age of 19 years and 286 days, he’s 11 days younger than Crosby was when he took on the C for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Landeskog has been standing out on the ice since his days in the OHL, where he was roommates with Jeff Skinner and moved to Canada all by himself at the age of 16 to play for the Kitchener Rangers. In 2009-10, his rookie junior season, he was third among rookies in points and the highest-scoring rookie in the playoffs. Then for the 2010-11 season, he became captain of the team, the first European-born captain in Kitchener history.
Drafted second overall by Colorado in 2011, he made the NHL right out of the gate and his first-ever NHL goal not only sent a game into overtime, but made him the youngest Swedish-born player to ever score. His rookie campaign also included his first two-goal game, his first fighting major and being named the top rookie for February 2012 by putting up 13 points that month. In total, he scored 52 points, led the Avalanche in goals, broke team records for rookies, played in all 82 games and won the 2012 Calder Trophy (which was won in 2011 by his old Kitchener roommate Skinner).
Landeskog was also named an alternate captain for Sweden at the 2012 World Championship and might have been made a very youthful captain there if not for Daniel Alfredsson.
It’s safe to say that Landeskog is a precocious talent on the ice. He could lead the Avs back into the playoffs, where they haven’t been at all since 2010 and haven’t been past the first round since 2008. Though he has a small body of experience to draw from, he’s never had a sophomore slump, which could bring some comfort to anxious fans in Denver and elsewhere. In his second year with the Rangers, he improved from 46 to 66 points while playing eight fewer games.
Plus, his Twitter account is a lot of fun. Here, he weighs in on his new role with the team:
However, he’s also talked about the ongoing labor negotiations, called out people who tweet him inappropriate jokes and posted pictures of himself in a shirt that says “Sun’s Out, Guns Out.”
Now the sun’s out, the guns are out and Landeskog is writing a new chapter in NHL history.