Brandon, MB – When the curtain goes up on the 2011-12 Western Hockey League season later tonight in Moose Jaw, 19-year old right-winger Mark Stone will be wearing the "C" on his Brandon Wheat Kings' jersey.
The WHL club has confirmed that the three year veteran, who recently signed a National Hockey League Entry Level Contract with the Ottawa Senators, will become the 55th Captain in franchise history.
Stone replaces Shayne Wiebe, who graduated from the junior ranks last year and is currently skating with the NHL's Winnipeg Jets.
Serving as Stone's assistants this season will be veterans Brodie Melnychuk, Ryley Miller, Paul Ciarelli and Michael Ferland. Ferland, who was returned to the Wheat Kings on Wednesday by the Calgary Flames, will wear the "A" on the road along with Melnychuk. Ciarelli and Miller meanwhile will be the assistants on home ice.
Stone is coming off a stellar 2010-11 campaign that saw the Winnipeg product lead the club and finish third in league scoring with 106 points, including 37 goals.
During his three years in Brandon, Stone has 65 goals and 173 points in 166 career games.
Following tonight's game in Moose Jaw, which will be televised by Shaw TV and broadcast by 880 CKLQ, the Wheat Kings will return home to prepare for their 2011 Home Opener on Friday night against the Warriors.
Tickets to Friday's Opener are on sale at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at ticketmaster.ca. As of noon Thursday, approximately 3,800 tickets had been sold for this year's home opener.