VANCOUVER - The rebuilding Vancouver Giants, already reeling under a 1-3-0-0 start, received some positive news on the weekend when defenceman Dalton Thrower was returned to junior by the Montreal Canadiens.
On Monday, the Giants wasted no time naming the WHL veteran as their new captain, the 13th in club history. Thrower succeeds Wes Vannieuwenhuizen, who graduated and joined the UBC Thunderbirds.
From North Vancouver, Thrower was a second-round pick of the Habs in the 2012 NHL entry draft. He spent the last four seasons with the Saskatoon Blades and was acquired in the off-season. Born in 1993, he is considered a 20-year-old for league purposes even though he won't actually turn 20 until Dec. 20.
Thrower figures to anchor the Giants blueline along with Colorado Avalanche draft pick Mason Geertsen and Calgary pick Brett Kulak. Geertsen has missed the last three Giants game due to injury. Vancouver has been outscored 15-5 in its four games and has lost all three of its home games.
Two seasons ago, Thrower put up 54 points for the Blades while also spending 103 minutes in the penalty box. Last season, he dipped to 27 points and 89 PIMs. Thrower was the 30th overall pick in the 2008 WHL bantam draft and went 51st overall to the Habs in 2012. The Giants, who had obtained Saskatoon's 2014 second round bantam pick in an earlier trade, returned the pick to the Blades when Thrower reported to them.
The Giants head out this week on a six-game Prairie road trip that begins Friday in Brandon and continues on to Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina and Swift Current. Their two leading scorers from last season, wingers Jackson Houck and Cain Franson, have been held pointless through the first four games.
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