A little over a week ahead of the 2023-24 WHL season, the Saskatoon Blades have finally answered a question that fans have been wondering all off-season. Who will be replacing longtime defender Aidan De La Gorgendiere as team captain?
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That answer officially came Friday, as the Blades sewed a ‘C’ onto Trevor Wong’s number 38 jersey.
“It’s pretty crazy,” said Wong. “I’m just totally honoured to be part of this organization. I got traded here a few years ago and to be the captain of this team and these guys, it’s pretty special.”
Wong is set to enter his third season in Saskatoon and fifth in the WHL, becoming a fan-favourite since being acquired from the Kelowna Rockets in exchange for Colton Dach in a blockbuster trade before the 2021-22 season.
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In that time, Blades head coach Brennan Sonne has seen Wong grow into a role as a quiet, but reliable leader for the team’s younger players.
“Trevor is what the Blades aim to be,” said Sonne. “He leads by example, he’s a great teammate, he’s passionate. He doesn’t just lead by barking or talking, it’s action. When he does talk it’s because he lives it every day, you listen to him.”
Sonne referenced a moment last season when he saw Wong speaking with a young teammate who was going through a tough time, only returning to the area close to an hour later to see the pair still sharing a conversation.
“Trevor has the heart of a lion,” said Sonne. “He works constantly, tirelessly, but is a phenomenal leader of the pride. His empathy, his humanity, his aspiration, his care for his teammates are all qualities that we want and want to live by. That’s what he is, he lives that culture and that humanity every day.”
Wong had a breakout year offensively for Saskatoon last season, not only leading the team in regular season scoring with 27 goals and 86 points in 68 games, but also as tops in the Blades playoff scoring with 21 points in 18 games.
While he began his career as a Rocket, Wong considers himself fully a part of the Blades fabric and is glad to be carrying on a legacy of leadership in Saskatoon.
“I love building relationships and getting to know guys,” said Wong. “Being the new guy when I was 18, I just wanted to make as many friendships as I could. So it’s pretty special to get that kind of vote from them.”
As for alternate captains, Sonne confirmed those will be formally announced in the coming weeks.
Set to graduate from the WHL after this coming season, life after junior hockey is front of mind for Wong and the Blades’ leadership group this year.
“We obviously like to build men,” said Wong. “Guys that graduate from this program, they want to go into this world and be other people than hockey players and build great people overall.”
Wong will wear the ‘C’ on his jersey for the first time on Saturday night in Warman as the Blades host the Prince Albert Raiders for their final pre-season game ahead of their 2023-24 season opener on September 23 in Regina.
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