The Steinbach Pistons have named their captains ahead of the highly anticipated 2020-21 MJHL regular season.
Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck announced today that defenceman Curtis Ireland has been named the 13th captain in Pistons franchise history.
The Brandon native has spent his entire time in junior hockey with the Pistons since being selected by the team in the 2015 MJHL Bantam Draft. Ireland is the lone player remaining from Steinbach’s 2018 MJHL and ANAVET Cup championship team, and the team’s current longest serving player. He put up career-highs in 2019-20, posting 3 goals and 23 points in 54 games played while playing big minutes on both sides of the team’s special teams unit.
Dyck also named the assistant captains for this year’s team as forwards Rylan Bettens and Ty Naaykens, along with defenceman Christian Riemer will be wearing the ‘A’s this season.
Bettens is entering his second season with the Pistons in 2020-21. The Winnipeg born forward played in 54 games last year, recording 15 goals and 26 points in blue and white. He took off in the playoffs, tying for the MJHL lead in postseason scoring before the halt of play with 3 goals and 6 points.
Likewise, the 19-year-old Naaykens is also entering his second year in blue and white. The Winnipeg native finished second on the Pistons in scoring a season ago, netting 23 goals and 55 points in 58 games played. He was also the recipient of a league honor in 2019-20, winning the MJHL Playing Ability and Sportsmanship Award for his high standard of play and only recording just 14 penalty minutes a season ago.
Riemer is heading into his third junior season, and his second in Steinbach. The 20-year-old from Regina became Mr. Reliable for the Pistons on the back end, posting 2 goals and 10 points in 32 games played last year. He tied with his teammate Bettens in playoff scoring, netting 6 points (2G, 4A) in 4 postseason appearances last year and was named as the team’s Playoff MVP as a result.
The entire Pistons organization would like to congratulate Curtis, Rylan, Ty, and Christian on this honour and look forward to seeing them lead the team on and off the ice during this unique 2020-21 season.
The Pistons face off against the Winnipeg Freeze to open the MJHL regular season this weekend. Steinbach will be in Winnipeg on Friday night at 7:30 pm, and then the 2020 Home Opener will take place on Saturday night at 7:30 inside the TG Smith Centre. A reminder that only season-ticket holders will be allowed access to home games during the COVID-19 pandemic, and face masks are mandatory inside the building. Otherwise, watch every moment of the Pistons’ season live with a subscription to HockeyTV.