WHL Hockey News
Hayden Rintoul, the 20-year-old defenceman acquired from the Kootenay Ice in the offseason, has been named the first captain of the Victoria Royals. Rintoul’s veteran experience, including a surprise run to the Memorial Cup with the Ice last year, will be critical for a team carrying 11 players 17 and under.
Says Rintoul of the Ice’s run last year, “what I learned through that playoff run is that to have a close team everyone has to pull their own weight and everyone has to work their butts off, everyone has to enjoy each other’s company and enjoy coming to the rink. And you have to have a system and play to it.”
Rintoul was awarded the C by coach and GM March Habscheid prior to puck drop for the team’s season opener in Vancouver last friday.
Habscheid also named 19-year-old forward and Buffalo Sabres draft pick Kevin Sundher, 19-year-old defenseman and Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Tyler Stahl and 17-year-old dynamo Brandon Magee as the assistant captains.Rintoul was interim captain during the preseason.
Rintoul, who maintains a twitter account under @hayrinny, was selected by the Ice in the fourth round (79th overall) in the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft and picked up four points (1G-3A) in 19 playoff games while posting a +13 rating as the Ice captured the WHL championship last year.
He was acquired over the offseason along with a conditional pick for Dylen McKinlay as part of a strategy to replace departing overagers Jeff Einhorn and Brandon Manning on the Royals blueline.
As well, Rintoul will provide valuable experience for Joe Hicketts, selected 12th overall in this years Bantam Draft, and third round selection Ryan Gagnon. As a reminder of your mortality, both these players were born in 1996.
The Calgary native has one assist and is -3 to start the year after a home and home split against the Giants last weekend.