In what has been an up-and-down year, both in life and in hockey, Mason Waite is being recognized with what is arguably one of the highest honours a team can offer to a player.
The Prince George Spruce Kings has named the 20-year-old defenceman as its captain for the upcoming 2020-21 season, which will be shortened to 32 games by the BCHL earlier this month.
The roller-coaster began with the Kings getting swept out of the first round of the playoffs in March.
Then, in early April, Waite was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the time when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full force and some surgeries had to be rescheduled.
Fortunately for the Winnipeg product, after he received several tests, he was able to have his surgery within the week of his first appointment and, as of May, has recovered since with more scans and tests.
Waite says, in a team release this morning (Nov. 12), he’s both humbled and honoured to have the ‘C’ sewn on his sweater this upcoming season.
“We have such an experienced group of guys,” he explained.
“With all of the veteran presence that we have, I think the leadership runs from top to bottom on this team and we are super excited to get the regular season started.”
Prince George’s reigning co-Defenceman of the Year led all blue-liners on the 2019-20 stats sheet with 29 points in 51 games, adding a point in four playoff games as well.
In August, Waite officially committed to St. Lawrence University in New York for NCAA Division One hockey in its 2021-22 campaign.
Corey Cunningham, born and raised in Prince George, has been named an assistant captain, as well as Kolton Cousins, with more expected to be announced by the end of exhibition play.
The Spruce Kings have four preseason games left before the scheduled Dec. 1 start for the BCHL, including a three-in-three scenario this weekend.
They’ll face the league’s latest expansion, the Cranbrook Bucks, tomorrow (Nov. 13) and Saturday before heading to Trail on Sunday (Nov. 15).