The Johnstown Tomahawks are pleased to announce forward Ryan Vellucci as team captain for the 2022-23 season. Serving alongside him will be defenseman Ethan Perrault as an assistant captain.
“Our decision to name Ryan captain for this season was really a testament to the leadership he has displayed since day one, as well as his hard work and commitment to the team during the off-season,” said head coach Mike Letizia about the decision.
“He took this summer to better his overall game and I think that has been evident every day he has been back in Johnstown, really starting with Main Camp in July. As a coaching staff, we thought that was leadership in itself and along with the other positive traits he was demonstrating, we felt confident naming him our captain.”
Vellucci, native of Northville, Michigan, posted 16 points (5G, 11A) in his first full season with the Tomahawks last year, along with two assists in his four-game stint with the team at the end of the 2020-21 season.
“As a rookie last season, he played a bit of an unheralded role as a big member of the PK, blocking a ton of shots, and doing so many of the thankless things it takes to win that don’t always appear in a box score,” added Letizia about his new captain. “With that, he was constantly a positive teammate, supporting and picking up everyone when needed, and being an outstanding citizen off the ice. He is a team first guy through and through.
“There will be added levels of responsibility and accountability as captain, but I think that is a challenge that will keep the fire burning inside of Ryan, while also displaying that same commitment for his teammates.”
Tipp City, Ohio native Ethan Perrault will be wearing the ‘A’ for the Tomahawks, also entering his second season in Johnstown.
“Ethan was another rookie for us last season that was truly one of our most consistent players,” Letizia said of his newly named assistant captain. “He is a workhorse for us night in and night out. Ethan is easily one of the hardest working guys in practice as well, and never takes a day off. His desire to improve daily is contagious. We think he is someone that can be a lead-by-example type assistant captain, but also has the will to hold guys accountable of staying within the framework of our beliefs and standards.”
The 6’3 defensemen put up 17 points, with 16 of those being assists, in the 2021-22 campaign along with an impactful 18 +/- record. Perrault also netted a goal in the Robertson Cup Playoffs opening-round series against the Jamestown Rebels.
“There is another collection of deserving players that we are going to lean on as coaches to help this leadership group, and the rest of the team,” said Letizia of his team. “While they may not have a letter on their jersey just yet, they will also be vital to us staying within the standards that we feel will give us the best chance for on and off-ice success.”
Vellucci, Perrault and the rest of the 2022-23 Tomahawks will be making their season debut this Friday, September 9, on the road in Danbury to face off against the Jr. Hat Tricks for the first weekend series of the season. Puck drop is set for 7 PM and can be watched live on HockeyTV, along with all NAHL games this season.