A pair of veteran players have been confirmed as part of leadership group for the 2014-15 Kelowna Chiefs.
Chase Astorino and Brady Mende have been named assistant captains for the upcoming KIJHL season, working alongside recently named captain, Anthony Ruggiero.
“Both Astorino and Mende are natural fits as they both lead by example,” said Chiefs’ head coach Jason Tansem. “You can’t turn leadership on and off and these two don’t as they’re respected and looked up to by their teammates and peers.”
And leaders they are. Mende first joined the Chiefs in 2011 as an AP. Since then, the 5-foot-7, 150-pound forward has collected a total of 82 points with 34 goals and 48 assists during the regular seasons.
“I’m looking forward to helping the team get to the top and staying there,” says Mende.
The 19-year-old isn’t one to be found in the penalty box very often, only racking up nine minutes in regular season play since stepping on the ice with the Chiefs. He’s known for helping out off the ice at numerous community hosted by the team.
The upcoming season will mark Astorino’s second year as an Assistant Captain for Kelowna. Standing 5-foot-10 and weighing in at 170 pounds, the 20-year-old forward joined the Chiefs in 2012-13 and collected 77 penalty minutes in his first season. Since putting on a Chiefs jersey, Astorino has tallied 16 points in regular season play plus a total of 143 penalty minutes.
“I’m looking forward to my last chance at a Junior Hockey League title, playing for a great team and alongside a great group of guys,” says Astorino.