Silverbacks’ defenceman Akito Hirose moves to swing the puck around Merritt Centennials skaters as they come up behind him during a November 2018 game at the Shaw Centre. (File photo)

Hirose to captain Salmon Arm Silverbacks for 2019-20 season

Accomplished defenceman in final year of junior hockey career.

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have a new team captain for the 2019-20 BCHL season.

In a Sept. 7 media release, the ‘Backs named veteran D-man Akito Hirose as the player tasked to help lead and inspire the team on the ice and off.

“We just think that he is emblematic of what we’re about here,” said Scott Atkinson, Silverbacks’ head coach and general manager. “He’s certainly one of the most skilled players in the league and he’s a real leader in our dressing room so I think it makes it a fairly easy decision.”

Hirose enters his fourth season in Salmon Arm and has accumulated 72 points in 151 career games. He is the only defenceman in the BCHL this year who is coming off two straight seasons of 30 or more points.

In 2017-18, the Calgary, Alta. native recorded 32 points in 55 games and last season he recorded 30 points in 52.

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“The guys have immense respect for him in the room and when he speaks, it carries a lot of weight,” said Atkinson. “That’s how I think he’s going to be, leading by example and when he does say something, it’s going to be poignant and guys are going to be paying attention.”

This will be Hirose’s final year of junior hockey, as next season he will head to Minnesota State University of Mankato to play NCAA Div. I hockey.


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