The New Jersey 87's have announced the captains and alternates for the 2019-20 season. The EHL team has named Tim Lazouski as captain while Justin Vickers, Trevor Cear and Tim DeBord were named alternate captains. Tom Swartwout is the captain for the Premier squad with Jeremy Connor, Ryan Crane and Dante Balsamo serving as the alternates.
Lazouski, a 19-year-old defenseman from Belarus, has been with the 87's since day one and has played in 104 games between the EHL and the Premier division. He has 11 points (2g, 9a) in 20 games with the EHL team in the 2019-20 campaign. Swartwout, an 18-year-old forward from Brick, NJ, led the Premier team in scoring last season with 53 points (32g, 21a) in 41 games. This year he is tied for second on the team with nine goals. Head coach Adam Houli spoke about both players and the qualities they possess that earned them the 'C' for each team.
"The biggest thing that sticks out for both players is their work ethic and their abilities to get things done. They'll go through a wall for us, and that's why ultimately we felt those were the guys that should wear the C," Houli said. "Both have been in our program for two-plus years. They really understand who we are as a staff, the makeup of this team, and they understand what we're willing to do and what they're willing to do to lead the team."
Serving as the alternate captains, Vickers, Cear and DeBord are all returning players for the EHL team. Vickers and DeBord represented the 87's in the EHL All-Star collegiate showcase earlier this season, while Cear--like Lazouski--has been with the 87's organization since its inaugural season. Houli talked about the veteran leadership they all provide for the team.
"Those are all returning players who understand what it takes to win day in and day out, and understand the room and how it operates. We're excited to see the group come together and I think this is a real good day to announce who they're going to be, and now move forward in our trek towards Providence," Houli said.
Crane is in his second season with the 87's Premier team and has seven points (3g, 4a) in 17 games this season. Connor is also playing in his second year with the team and has a 4-4-0 record between the pipes. Balsamo is the lone rookie on either team to receive a letter, but he leads the Premier team in scoring with 21 points (8g, 13a) in 18 games.
"I think they're great complements to Tom on the Premier side. Jeremy and Ryan have both been here for over a year and provides veteran leadership for a young group of players. Meanwhile Dante is a new kid who came in and has truly asserted himself as a leader," Houli said.
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