Windsor Spitfires Name 2022-23 Leadership Group

After weeks of speculation, the Windsor Spitfires have named their new captain and alternates for their 2022-23 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) season. It’s a strong combination of youth and experience, with a local touch.

Coming into the season, the club knew they had to revamp their leadership group because of heavy graduation. Instead of rushing into anything, they waited until someone emerged. In the end, five players rose to the top and showed that they were ready to bring the Spitfires into the new era.

Maggio Earns Spitfires’ Captaincy

The Spitfires made the big announcement on Wednesday (Nov. 16) – Matthew Maggio is their new captain.

The soon-to-be-20-year-old Tecumseh native is in his third (and final) season with the club after being acquired from the Ottawa 67’s in 2019. After exploding for 85 points in 66 games last season, the New York Islanders’ 2022 fifth-rounder has 22 points through 15 games this season.

Matthew Maggio Windsor Spitfires
Windsor Spitfires’ forward Matthew Maggio (81) is their newest captain. (David Jewell / The Hockey Writers)

Maggio grew up at the old Windsor Arena with his dad, Rob, who was the Spitfires’ strength and conditioning coach. Following the 67’s trade, he’s come home, become a leader both in the room and in the community, and is living the junior hockey dream. He said this is a blue-collared city and he wants to represent that.

“I am humbled and honoured to be named the captain of a franchise as historic as Windsor,” Maggio said. “Growing up in Windsor, I got to witness the blue-collar work ethic that the people of Windsor represent and I am eager to display and continue that same work ethic throughout the year with the team. We are excited about the upcoming journey and achieving our goal of bringing an OHL championship home to our fans.”

Head coach Marc Savard said it was an easy decision for the staff, as Maggio goes that extra mile for his teammates and community.

“His leadership, not only on the ice by the way he works and competes every night, but off the ice by the way he treats his teammates and helps our young guys out,” Savard said. “He goes above and beyond when helping others and it is why this was an easy decision for our staff.”

Maggio joins an elite group of local players to wear the “C” including Harry Young, D.J. Smith, and the late Mickey Renaud.

Spitfires Name Five Alternates

Maggio will have plenty of help as the team also named several alternates. Overage (20-year-old) defenceman Michael Renwick will get a full-time “A”, forward Jacob Maillet and defenceman Nicholas DeAngelis will wear “A”s at home, while forwards Ryan Abraham and Alex Christopoulos will sport the “A” on the road.

Related: In-Depth Look: Windsor Spitfires 2020 OHL Draft Results

Renwick was acquired from the Hamilton Bulldogs in June 2020. After 29 points in 67 games last season, he’s taken on a bigger role and now has 12 points in 16 games this season. He played a big part in the club’s run to the OHL Championship last Spring and his grandfather is former Spitfires’ great Dave Prpich.

Michael Renwick Windsor Spitfires
Windsor Spitfires’ defenceman Michael Renwick. (David Jewell / The Hockey Writers)

Maillet, 19, came from the Guelph Storm last December. The former second-round pick has earned top-six ice time with 19 points in 17 games this season. DeAngelis, 18, was the Spitfires’ second-round pick in 2020 and his leadership potential was a selling point. He has 10 points through 17 games this season, just three points shy of his rookie totals (63 games). Savard praised him for his development earlier in November.

Abraham, 18, was their first-round pick in 2020. While just 5-foot-8, 165-pounds, he plays a gritty, offensive style with 21 points in 17 games so far. He’s another one who the Spitfires selected, in part, because of his leadership abilities. Christopoulos, 19, came over from the North Bay Battalion last November. The former third-round pick has flourished this season with 12 goals and 18 points in 17 games. He’s a candidate for the captaincy in 2023-24.

The club lost its entire leadership group over the summer due to trades and graduation, including captain Will Cuylle. Having a combination of ages will give them strong leadership this season and for seasons to come. It’s a smart move by the organization.