4 Canucks Alternate Captain Candidates for 2022-23

During the offseason, there have been many debates surrounding the Vancouver Canucks. Should the team re-sign J.T. Miller? Will the defence be good enough for the team to make the playoffs? There have even been discussions and debates on whether or not Rogers Arena should change its seat colours from red to blue. Recently, however, the yearly debate of who should wear an “A” this coming season has started up again.

J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks
J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Last season, the Canucks named Miller and Oliver Ekman-Larsson as alternate captains. While they will once again be front runners to have the “A” stitched on their jerseys, there are a few other candidates Vancouver should consider. Whether they stick with two players, have a different set for road and away games or alternate throughout the season, here are four players that should join Bo Horvat with letters on their jerseys.

J.T. Miller

Let’s start with the obvious one here in Miller. The Canucks’ leading scorer from last season wore the “A” during the 2021-22 season and is considered one of the leaders of this team. He recently signed a seven-year extension with the club, meaning he should be part of the leadership group for a long time.

Related: Canucks Re-Sign J.T. Miller to 7-Year Deal

On the ice, Miller led by example in the offensive zone. His 99 points were the most by a Canuck player since Daniel Sedin put up 104 during the 2010-11 season and was the seventh highest in franchise history. An outspoken player when it comes to media availability, he would be a solid choice to once again be named an alternate captain.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

After being acquired from the Arizona Coyotes before the 2021-22 campaign, Ekman-Larsson was named an alternate captain in Vancouver. He has worn a letter on his jersey every year since the 2014-15 season, captaining the Coyotes from 2018-19 until his trade to the Canucks. Whether it is helping younger players adapt to the NHL or stepping up when his team needs him most, OEL has consistently shown that he is a great leader on and off the ice.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Vancouver Canucks
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

With age comes experience and only one player on the current roster has more games played than Ekman-Larsson at the NHL level. He is a key player for this organization and is scheduled to be a Canuck for the next five seasons. Despite some arguing that he is overpaid, he does bring value to Vancouver and will be a strong candidate to once again wear the “A”.

Elias Pettersson

The 2022-23 season is the perfect time for the Canucks to give budding superstar Elias Pettersson more responsibility. Coming off a career year that saw him eclipse the 30-goal mark, the Swedish center looks ready to enter the World of the NHL’s best. One of Vancouver’s hardest-working players, he should be ready to join this team’s leadership group as he enters year five with the organization.

Related: 4 Canucks Hot Takes for 2022-23 Season

While Pettersson is a player that leads by example on the ice, he has also shown leadership qualities off of it. Whether that be singing Christmas carols with Michael Bublé outside Canucks Place Children’s Hospice back in 2020 or making a sizeable donation to the Canucks for Kids fund last December, he wants to give back to the community. He is exactly the type of player and person any organization would want representing them and has shown that he is ready to wear an “A” on his jersey.

Luke Schenn

A fan favourite, Luke Schenn is the most experienced player on the team. He has played 863 career NHL games and has become one of the best value players across the league. A player who will stand up for his teammates, especially Quinn Hughes, he is exactly the type of leader an organization would want their younger players to learn from.

One of the reasons Schenn has become a favourite in the locker room as well as the fans is his joking and generally happy demeanour. Whether it is singing “Bruce, there it is” at coach Bruce Boudreau after a victory or surprising young fans by joining them on the ice as part of the Canucks Skate of Your Dreams event. He will be part of the Canucks leadership group this coming season, and it is hard to argue against him being named an alternate captain for the 2022-23 campaign.

Who Gets The “A”?

In the hockey community, having a letter on your jersey is a sign of pride. It shows that even though a player may not be the star, they play a valuable role within the organization. All four players mentioned above have earned the right to be acknowledged as leaders of the Canucks. Whether the organization alternates throughout the season or awards the title to only two players, all will play a key role in the leadership group and will be tasked with helping Vancouver make the playoffs after missing them the past two seasons.

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