Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Tuesday that defenseman Roman Josi has been named the eighth captain in franchise history. Additionally, defenseman Ryan Ellis was announced as associate captain and Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg as assistant captains.
“This is the right time to name Roman the captain of our franchise,” Poile said. “Not only is he one of our best players, but he’s also become one of the top defensemen in the entire League. He’s respected by his teammates, coaches and opponents and he represents our organization and logo with the utmost class and integrity on and off the ice. I know Roman is ready to become captain and I have no doubt he will fulfill these duties with the same passion we’ve become accustomed to seeing from him day after day.”
Josi, 27 (6/1/90), was a full-time assistant captain last season on a Predators team that reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. Since being selected as Nashville’s third choice, 38th overall (second round) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Josi has established himself as one of the League’s premier defenseman and is one of five NHL blueliners to record at least 40 points in each of the last four seasons. The Bern, Switzerland, native tallied 49 points last season – his sixth with the Predators – including a career-high seven power-play goals, which tied for the team lead. During last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, Josi led team defensemen and was second among all Nashville skaters with 14 points in 22 games while his six goals set a franchise record for most goals by a defenseman in a single postseason. He also set the franchise record for points (14g-47a-61pts) in a single season by a defenseman in 2015-16. A profound member of the local community, Josi teams up with Best Buddies of Tennessee to serve as a friend and mentor to kids in the Nashville-area with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“I’m really excited and it’s obviously a huge honor,” Josi said. “I’ve had some really good guys to learn from with Shea Weber and Mike Fisher in the time I’ve been here. I know we have a great leadership group, a great group of guys, so I’m really excited. I was really happy when coach told me, but it’s definitely something I never dreamed about when I was a little kid. You always dream about playing in the NHL, but being a captain of an NHL team, it’s definitely something I never thought about. It’s a huge honor and I’m just really excited to get going.”
“Roman was drafted by the organization and has developed through Milwaukee and Nashville into an elite defenseman,” Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “He has grown not only as a player but as a leader over time. He has had some great mentors in the past and it is now his time to become the captain of the Nashville Predators. Roman has led by example every day of his life. He is respected by all of his teammates and his peers. His work ethic, communication skills and accountability to his team make him the perfect choice to lead this group moving forward.”