The Notre Dame Hounds Junior A have named their group of captains ahead of the 2023-2024 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season.
Carson Baylis, 20, will be the captain of the club, and will be assisted by 2004-born Cyprus Smith-Davis and 2005-born Vincent Palmarin.
As Notre Dame returns 11 players, and boasts as veteran and experienced a team as it has had in many years, head coach Brett Pilkington feels the squad is full of leaders.
“It’s a ‘no-brainer’ to have (Carson) wear the ‘C’ this year,” he said, “but we will have that supporting cast around him, not just the other two with ‘letters’, but a good leadship group this year that has experience playing Junior A, and I think that will go a long way.”
Baylis, a native of Calgary, was second on the team in goals a year ago with 20 in 46 games, despite joining the Hounds via trade from Kindersley in October. His 110 SJHL games played ranks first on the club by a distance.
“When we acquired him last year I knew what we were getting from my past life in Calgary where I worked with him before,” said Coach Brett.
“I knew what the kid was all about and where he wants to go, he took some steps last year and in the off-season he has really stepped up for this group to drive them in the right direction.”
Palmarin, who does not turn 18 until mid-November, had a terrific rookie campaign in 2022-2023 where he posted 19 points in 40 games and represented the league at the SJHL/MJHL Showcase in January in Winnipeg.
A Notre Dame high school graduate, he grew up locally in Wilcox and lives and breathes what it means to be a Hound.
“Character just drips out of (Vinny Palmarin’s) veins,” Brett said.
“His work ethic and his drive to get better every day separates him from the pile, and that makes him a no-brainer.”
Smith-Davis, a 19-year-old from Victoria, BC, grew steadily from start to finish last year, where he scored five of his nine goals on the season in the final five games.
“Cyprus was here last year and went through some injuries,” said Pilkington.
“This off-season he has really put in the work to be the best version of himself. Here in camp he has really helped the guys push through and stay positive, and the leadership side comes naturally to him.”
“We have a good mix of age groups in those three, you hope that brings the group closer together from the beginning, and you see, time will tell. We have a bunch of leaders in that room with a bunch of experience so we hope it all goes the right way.”