Johnstown, Pa. — The Johnstown Tomahawks have crossed one more item off their off-season to-do list after naming defenseman Logan Hudson as the team’s next captain.
Tomahawks Head Coach Mike Letizia and General Manager Rick Boyd surprised Hudson by presenting him with his Tomahawks jersey, newly donning the captain’s “C” on the front chest, at an informal luncheon held during the team’s try-out camp in Michigan last weekend.
Hudson will succeed Brady Bender – who has advanced to play at NCAA-DIII Endicott College next year – as the next captain of the Tomahawks, a role that Boyd said carries great significance for the franchise.
Boyd said that while all Tomahawks players wearing the Johnstown jersey are expected to represent the team and region well through their actions on and off the ice, the captain’s role is reserved for those who do more than lead by example. Solid leadership, he said, is a cornerstone for any successful program.
"Our goal here is to provide an opportunity to young men that show leadership qualities in the lifestyles they live, both on and off the ice," he said.
Letizia and Boyd said it did not take long to reach an agreement as to Hudson’s capability to be the next captain of the Tomahawks.
"The Tomahawks organization is looking to fight its way back into the playoffs, and in order to do that we need a leadership core that will lead its troops into battle and never give up. There is no one better to lead this group and more deserving to wear the ‘C’ on his jersey than Logan Hudson," Letizia said.
Hudson, 20, joined the Tomahawks midway through the 2013-14 season after impressing coaches as a free agent try-out during the previous summer. Since arriving in Johnstown, Hudson has been a stalwart on the Tomahawks blue line, tallying 195 penalty minutes and 5 points in 73 regular season games played.
"Huddy is one heck of a tough kid that has been a leader since he got here. Putting that letter on his chest is our way of saying 'thank you' as well as letting everyone know where the bar will be set. Our expectations for this season are very high,” Letizia said.
Letizia said the early announcement of Hudson’s captaincy allows the team to build momentum leading into the start of the season.
"We are rolling right now,” he said. “Everyone – both the returning players and the new players coming in – will need to be ready to go if they don’t want to miss out on what is shaping up to be a great ride in 2015-16."
The Tomahawks offseason continues this weekend with the final of three try-out camps in West Dundee, Ill., before returning to Johnstown for Main Camp at Planet Ice in Richland Township from July 22-26.
The Tomahawks also hold the ninth overall pick in today’s NAHL Draft, and the hockey operations staff is looking to add some skilled players to bring immediate success to the program.
Tomahawks season tickets are now available by calling 814-536-4625. Packages are available for less than $99.