TRURO - A different letter will grace the upper left chest of Casey Babineau's Rimouski Oceanic jersey this season.
His letter ‘A' has been traded in for a ‘C.'
The 20-year-old Beaver Brook native was recently named captain of the team he's spent the entire four years of his junior eligibility with as they open the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season Friday against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
"Honestly, it's a great way to end my career here," the five-foot-11, 195-pound defenceman said. "It's a real honour."
When you look at his time in the city, it's hard to imagine a better candidate.
Babineau arrived as a 16-year-old kid who barely knew a word of French and was just hoping to make the team. But older players helped him along, allowing him to blossom into a stalwart on the blueline, who helped the club to the league final against the Saint John Sea Dogs last spring. He collected six points (1G, 5A) in 21 playoff contests.
Now he's looking to return the favour to a roster full of young talent, and understands from his experience the duties of a captain don't end when he steps off the ice.
"Especially when you're younger," he said. "You need help to adjust to this different lifestyle. It's not easy to come from home to a place you don't know. It helps when you have friends and teammates to support you on and off the ice."
Babineau said getting the nod from the coaching staff is a huge boost to his confidence as he prepares to start his final junior season and looks to open doors for himself.
"I'm really embracing the confidence the coaches have shown me and I just want to guide these players and help the team win."