Defenseman Alec Capstick was only 11 years old when the Langley Rivermen entered their inaugural season five years ago in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). Born and bred in Langley, Capstick remembers coming to games as a young boy with his dad and friends and dreaming one day of putting on a Rivermen sweater.
“Playing for the hometown team brings a real sense of pride for me. Wearing that logo on my chest is a special feeling, and as a kid, was always a goal of mine,” said Capstick.
The 16 year-old grew up playing in the Langley Minor Hockey Association, and after registering 62 points (21 goals, 41 assists) in 70 games during his last year of Bantam, Capstick decided to join Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford, BC. February 2015 was a busy month for the young blue-liner, who committed to the University of Notre Dame, and weeks later, signed with the Rivermen for this 2015-16 season.
“We first got a chance to watch Alec back when he was in Peewee. I really started to notice him later on that year in provincials and continued to track his progress,” said Rivermen Head Coach and General Manager Bobby Henderson. “He is just a phenomenal kid first and foremost, and obviously is a good hockey player. He is the real deal.”
Capstick was a very sought after prospect before joining the Rivermen. In the 2014 Western Hockey League (WHL) Bantam draft, he was selected in the fourth round (69 overall) by the Saskatoon Blades. A year later, the Waterloo Black hawks (United States Hockey League) selected Capstick in the seventh round (102 overall) in the USHL Futures draft. Despite having multiple options, playing for the Rivermen in the BCHL has always been at the forefront.
“Schooling and hockey has always been the main focus in my family. In the end, I felt the NCAA route was the best way to go to achieve my goals,” continued Capstick.
Six games into his first season with the Rivermen, Capstick has recorded one assist and eight penalty minutes. The Rivermen’s youngest player admits he is still adjusting to playing at the Junior “A” level.
“The speed of the game has been the biggest adjustment for me so far. I also have to continue to work at getting stronger in order to get better at board battles, because guys are a lot bigger up here. Right now, I am just trying to focus on playing consistent night in and night out and contribute to the team anyway I can.”
Being one of the few members of the team that have to juggle school, hockey, and rookie duties, Capstick admits some days can be long. However, with the team off to a great start, coming to the rink every day is special.
“We have a great team in that dressing room and I believe have the potential to go far this year. We are very well balanced from the goaltenders on out, and pose a good challenge to any team who plays against us each night,” finished Capstick.
The Rivermen host a pair of games at the Langley Events Centre this weekend. On Friday October 7, the ‘Riv take on the Wenatchee Wild at 7:15pm. On Sunday October 9, the Chilliwack Chiefs are in town for a 3:00pm faceoff. Following the game, it will be another ‘Skate with the Rivermen’ promotion.