Canadiens name Nick Suzuki the 31st captain in franchise history

Watch as Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis announces Nick Suzuki as the team's next captain, and Suzuki is truly honoured and couldn't be more excited to represent the team going forward.

Nick Suzuki has been named the new captain of the Montreal Canadiens.

The centre was wearing a jersey with the 'C' at the Canadiens' annual golf tournament on Monday.

"It's an honour to be named the captain of the Montreal Canadiens," Suzuki said to the assembled media, in French, before switching to English. "This team is headed in a great direction and I couldn't be more excited to be the captain and represent the team."

Suzuki becomes the 31st captain in team history.

An alternate captain last season, Suzuki succeeds Shea Weber, who served as captain between 2018 and 2022.

The club says Joel Edmundson and Brendan Gallagher will be alternate captains this season.

"I know it's a big role, but I think I'm ready for it," Suzuki said, adding that the job had been raised with him by head coach Martin St. Louis "probably around the draft.

"He asked me just to take some time to think about it, to think if I was ready. I probably took, what is it a month, two months, to think about it. Felt like I was ready and I had a meeting with Kent, Geoff the other day, told them I was ready to do it," said Suzuki, referring to GM Kent Hughes and team owner Geoff Molson.

Suzuki, 23, becomes the youngest captain in team history.

"He's the heartbeat of our team," said Gallagher, "we're happy to follow him.

"He's younger. Might be a little different for him, but he's fully ready for the top duty."

The native of London, Ont., will be playing in the first year of an eight-year, $63-million extension this season.

Suzuki had a career-high 61 points in 82 games last season, earning an appearance in the NHL All-Star Game.

For his three-year career, he has 143 points (49 goals, 94 assists) in 209 games. He has played those 209 games consecutively, the sixth longest active streak in the NHL.

"I don't know what he was like his first year, but since I've been here ... he's been a kid, but at the same time he's one of the leaders in the dressing room," said Edmunson. "To be that young and that mature is very impressive.

"A lot of time last year, leadership was up in the air. We had guys in and out of the lineup all year," Edmunson added. "When you don't really know who to lean on, it can be tough. That's why you need your leadership group, you need your captains. I think management did a great job picking Nick as our captain."

Selected in the first round (13th overall) by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 the NHL Draft, Suzuki was acquired by the Canadiens along with Tomas Tatar and a draft pick in exchange for former captain Max Pacioretty in September 2018.

Suzuki said he spoke to Weber before accepting the role.

"I had a phone call with him, just talking to him about what he experienced. Obviously I got to see it first hand, how great leader he was. We had a great talk and he really made me comfortable, thinking I could do it."

"In anything, especially in sports, companies ... leadership is a big part of the success," said St. Louis. "And for the hockey team, for us, the most important position of leadership is in that locker room."

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