- Created: 11 September 2017
Forward Jack Thornton has been named as the team captain of the Eugene Generals for the 2017-18 season.
A native of Eugene, Thornton will be the first local product to ever wear the “C” for the Generals and the franchise’s twelfth captain overall.
He will be entering his third year of junior hockey, all of which have been spent as a member of the Generals franchise. Thornton is one of four local players on this year's roster (Broc Friesen, Calvin Hennon, Griffin Minchin), the most that have been on a Generals roster since the 2010-11 season (Jordan Blake-Jones, Justin Huelsman, Peter Mingus, Stephen Veach).
Through 85 career games as a General, Thornton has tallied 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 overall points.
"With all of our captains from last year's team having moved on, we came into training camp hoping one of the guys would step up and embrace that role," said Head Coach Justin Kern. "Right away, Jack instantly stood out. He quickly became the guy acting as a good ambassador for our program, bringing new guys under his wing, and setting the tone both in drills and in workouts."
"I honestly did not expect it at first," said Thornton. "Being named captain kind of kicked me into a mode where I knew that I had a certain responsibility and I had to take that to heart. It's something I'm really excited about, though. The player that I am today is completely different than the player I was last year."
"The guys look at him and see him working as hard as he possibly can, and that is infectious," added Kern. "On and off of the ice he's already leading the team. He's doing a great job leading by example and making sure that everyone is on task."
Thornton steps into a captaincy role that has predominantly featured Alaskans and Coloradans in the past.
The responsibilities of being a team captain also come with the added pressure of being the first Eugene native to receive the title. However, Thornton isn't feeling any added heat from the extra local spotlight. "With me being the first local captain, I understand that there will be a lot of eyes looking at me and seeing what I'll be doing," said Thornton. "That stuff doesn't really bother me, though. I just want to keep being myself, doing what I feel is right and making the right decisions that will hopefully reflect well on the team and lead to positive results."
"I am really proud of him being the first captain from Eugene," said Kern. "It's fantastic to see a local guy step into that role, and we think he's going to be great for us this year."
The Generals open up the 2017-18 regular season on the road this weekend with a Saturday-Sunday matchup against the Everett Jr. Silvertips at XFINITY Arena in Everett, Washington. Saturday's game is scheduled to start at 11:15am PST while Sunday's game is scheduled for 8:45am PST.
Tickets for all Generals home games are now on sale: click here to purchase.