Niagara, Ont.- This morning, IceDogs’ Head Coach, Billy Burke, named the team’s Captain and Assistant Captains for the 2021-2022 season.
“I am very proud to announce this years leadership group. With such unique circumstances surrounding this season, we were in no rush to name an official leadership group, but these 3 outstanding young men separated themselves from the group and proved they were more than ready and deserving”.
Assistant Captain: Jake Uberti
“Jake has grown and matured exponentially since our last season. Since day one of training camp, Jake has consistently been one of the best and hardest working guys on the ice. He has committed himself to living like a pro everyday on and off the ice. He has a fire to win and compete and he is a great example of a player who has worked hard to become better every season. I’m proud of the man Jake has become and I know he will do a great job!”
This will be Uberti’s third season with the IceDogs. A power Centre, who has played 116 games with the team.
Jake shares his excitement.
“I can’t begin to express how excited and honoured I am to be given the chance to represent and lead this team. I’m so thankful to be given this opportunity. I cannot thank all my teammates and staff over my 3 years in Niagara enough for helping me develop into the person and player that I am today. We can’t wait to show this league the steps we have taken as a group and be a real powerhouse in the OHL”.
Assistant Captain: Mason Howard
“Howie is our longest serving IceDog and you can’t talk about Mason without using the word WARRIOR. Howie lives like he plays, with a huge heart on his sleeve. He is the undisputed shot blocking king of the league, a throwback type defensemen who can play it tough and physical but also has criminally underrated skill and vision. Howie has a big voice in the room and is always willing to take a guy under his wing. Mason has been a leader his whole life and he is the absolute epitome of a team-first guy. I’m proud of him and I know he will do a great job!”
The veteran defensemen and fan favourite has been with the team since 2018.
“I am honoured to be recognized as a leader by my teammates and coaches. I couldn’t be more excited to start the season!”
Captain: Cameron Butler
“The Captain of this team will be Cam Butler. A player can grow and develop over the course of a junior hockey season to the point that the player is almost unrecognizable at the end of the year. This is what happened with Cam Butler over the last season. I kept in touch with Cam quite regularly and not one time did he ever feel sorry for himself for not getting drafted or blame anyone or make any excuses. Instead, he committed himself 100% to becoming a pro, a leader and the best person he can be.”
“Off the ice, Cam is a high character, high integrity person, who is mature beyond his years. He is very approachable, incredibly well respected by the players, has a great feel for the dressing room and is the first guy to pick a guy up if he falls. Everything that Cam does off the ice, he backs up on the ice. He is the first guy in the gym in the morning and the last guy to leave in the afternoon. He took an incredible experience at Red Wings main camp to heart and brought all of those pro habits back to our team. Not only is Cam a player I can rely on in every situation, and at any point in the game, but he is a great example of the total package of what it means to be a Niagara IceDog.”
Butler, is a powerful winger, who started with the team in 2019.
He shares his excitement,
“To be named Captain of this team is extremely special to me. I would like to thank the entire coaching staff and all my teammates for this opportunity. It is a huge honour that I am very grateful for and carry with pride. We have such an incredible group of guys on this team and have taken huge strides. It’s going to be a very exciting season, and once again, I am so honoured to be able to lead this team and show everyone what we are capable of!”
Head Coach, Billy Burke, feels confident going into this season under their leadership.
“I have an incredible amount of trust and respect for Jake, Mason and Cam. To see the quality of person that these guys have developed into is a great feeling. I could not be more confident in their abilities”.