The Cranbrook Bucks named their 2022-23 leadership group ahead of their season opener on Friday, and it includes veterans Rhys Bentham, Cam Kungle, Noah Quinn, and Kellan Hjartarson.
Bentham will be Cranbrook’s captain for the second consecutive campaign, after previously serving as an alternate during the Bucks’ inaugural season in 2020-21. The 20-year-old from Calgary, AB, is one of two captains in franchise history — and the lone player to wear the ‘C’ in a regular season game — after Briggs Gammill was named captain during the 2020 extended exhibition season.
In Cranbrook’s first-full BC Hockey League season last year, Bentham tallied a goal and 22 assists in 51 contests. Entering his third and final season with the Bucks, Bentham is tied for the franchise’s all-time lead in games played with 71, and his 26 assists ranks him among the top-five in team history as well. The veteran blueliner is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Yale University next season.
Kungle, 20, is an alternate captain for the third straight year with the Bucks — in what is also his last kick at the can in Cranbrook. The sturdy, two-way defender from Red Deer, AB, has scored eight goals and added 12 helpers in 68 contests through his first two campaigns in Cranbrook.
Quinn is one of two new additions to the leadership group this season — his third and final with the Bucks. The 19-year-old from Nelson, BC has been a team leader from day one, and is rewarded with a letter on his jersey for the first time in his junior hockey career.
Through his first two seasons in Cranbrook, Quinn totalled 27 goals and 32 helpers for 59 points in 58 games. He chipped in another four assists in four postseason games last spring. Quinn will head off to Bemidji State University next year to begin his NCAA Div. I career.
Hjartarson, the fourth and final member of Cranbrook’s captains, is another newcomer to this season’s leadership group. He is entering his second and final year with the Bucks before heading off to NCAA Div. I Bentley University next fall.
Another Alberta product, the 19-year-old from Calgary is coming off a sensational rookie season in 2021-22 that saw Hjartarson score 19 goals and add 17 helpers for 36 points through 54 games. He also added a goal and an assist in six playoff contests with Cranbrook.
While Bentham and Kungle retain their captaincies from last season, the additions of Quinn and Hjartarson were made possible by last season’s alternate captains Johnny Johnson and Brendan Rogers aging-out of junior hockey.
The complete list of team captains can be viewed here, courtesy of Bucks Network’s captains page.