The Lloydminster Bobcats have announced Gunner Kinniburgh as their team captain for the 2020-21 season.
The 20-year-old defenceman from Lethbridge, Alberta, is entering his second season with the Bobcats and his fourth year in the AJHL.
Bobcats Head Coach and General Manager Nigel Dube believes the decision to announce the new leader of the squad is crucial entering the season.
“Gunner has a ton of experience in our league and knows our organization and what is needed leading the group forward. We will have a very strong leadership group starting with our captain. Last season we had an entirely new group in the room, and a very youthful squad. We have the biggest core group coming back to the Border City in several years.”
Dube mentioned the Bobcats played out their season without having an official captain designated on the roster, and having Kinniburgh in that leadership position will continue the team’s development in the upcoming season.
“Gunner knows what were about here, he knows the core values and what it means to be a Bobcat. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he’s a team first guy. Those are things that we look for in our players, and he’s a great example of it.”
Kinniburgh entered the league in 2016 playing for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons for two seasons before he was traded to the Bobcats with Chad MacLean in exchange for Hunter Lamb, Andrew Smiley and future considerations.
The new leader of the Bobcats has tallied 36 points over 170 games while racking up 170 penalty minutes.
In his first season with the Bobcats, Kinniburgh recorded career-highs in points (18) and assists (16) while netting two goals.
The Bobcats will begin preparing for a Development Season as the league works to set up a transition into the regular season.
Kinniburgh and the Bobcats hit the ice to begin practicing for the upcoming season on Tuesday, September 15.