Abbotsford’s Kawaguchi to captain the Chiefs

Jordan Kawaguchi will wear the captain's C for the BCHL squad as they get set to start the season.

Third year Chief Jordan Kawaguchi will captain Chilliwack through the 2015-16 BCHL season.

Third year Chief Jordan Kawaguchi will captain Chilliwack through the 2015-16 BCHL season.

Abbotsford native Jordan Kawaguchi will lead Chilliwack into the 2015-16 BCHL season, wearing the captain’s C for the Chiefs.

The team’s coaching staff announced the leadership group Wednesday and head coach Jason Tatarnic elaborated on their choices.

“I want guys who understand and communicate how we do things here,” the bench boss noted. “Off-ice workouts. How we practice and do things in the dressing room. I expect our captain and alternates to lead the way and communicate how things are done.”

Kawaguchi isn’t a rah-rah kid.

The third year Chief leads quietly, but Tatarnic said he’s got the respect of his teammates.

“The guys who don’t have to raise their voice are some of your best leaders,” Tatarnic said. “He says what he needs to say, he’s mature for his age and guys respect and look up to him.”

Kawaguchi wore an A last season and Tatarnic saw him evolving throughout the year.

“I thought he was already a mature kid and as the season went on I could see him maturing even more,” Tatarnic said. “I thought he did a great job helping our younger players make adjustments.”

The three alternates are Bennett Morrison, Mark Esposito and Ryan  Bowen.

Morrison’s an interesting case. Acquired from Salmon Arm a third of the way through last season when the injury riddled Chiefs were desperate for D-men, the Ontario native looked like a depth pickup.

But he played a bigger role as the season wore on, becoming one of the team’s most dependable defenders.

Behind closed doors, Tatarnic said the 19 year old was a fiery leader.

“He’s a warrior who battles and you know he’ll give everything he has every time he steps on the ice,” Tatarnic said. “He’s that rah-rah guy who’s well-liked in the room and isn’t afraid to stick up for his teammates.”

Esposito, the younger brother of former Chief scoring star Luke, endured an injury-filled 2014-15 campaign.

The Connecticut kid logged just 29 regular season games, but Tatarnic saw enough to give him an A.

“The thing that was impressive with Mark is he was always positive about it,” Tatarnic said. “He came in, did the work and put the team ahead of himself. Right there, that’s a light that goes on for the coaching staff.”

“Another part of it is he’s from Connecticut and knows all the kids we added from that area,” the coach continued. “They know him and look up to him and he provides that connection.”

Tatarnic always throws a young kid into the captaincy mix, and this year it’s Chilliwack’s own Bowen.

The Bowen clan has told Tatarnic Ryan won’t be going to training camp with the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors.

He’s all-in with the Chiefs this season.

“Every year I’ll have a young player as an assistant, because I think it’s important that young guys like (Darren) Rizzolo, (Jesse) Lansdell and (Kohen) Olischefski have a guy they can look up to and lean on,” Tatarnic said. “They can’t get lost because they’re your foundation. They need someone they can talk to and relate to.”

The common thread with the four choices is they were all here last year.

“I thought it was important to have guys who understand how far we went last year,” Tatarnic said. “We were happy with what we achieved but I think there was some bitterness too, and the guys who experienced that bitterness, if we get that far again they’ll know what it takes to get to the next level.”

The Chiefs are in exhibition action this weekend, visiting Surrey tonight and hosting the Eagles tomorrow (Saturday) at Prospera Centre. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Carin Bondar announced Thursday, Nov. 26 that she will be running in the upcoming byelection to replace outgoing school trustee Dan Coulter. (Sarah Sovereign Photography)
Carin Bondar announces candidacy for Chilliwack School Board

Bondar is a noted advocate for science literacy, STEM education and representation of minority groups

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack General given award for surgical care and patient outcomes

First time three Fraser Health hospitals receive award from surgical quality improvement program

Jessica Peters is a reporter at the Chilliwack Progress.
COLUMN: Bouncing back from a brain injury isn’t easy

‘We didn’t know how bad it was until I tried to return to work’

Google Maps screenshot taken at 6:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Westbound dump-truck crash on Highway 1

Crash occurred around 6:45 a.m., west of 232nd Street in Langley

The 11th annual Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage runs now until Dec. 11. (David Sucsy, Getty Images via Metro Creative Graphics)
Chilliwack Realtors asking people to help fill Christmas stockings for kids, seniors

Donations of cash, items needed for Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Most Read