MARQUETTE - Northern Michigan University senior defenseman Scott Macaulay shared captain duties with now departed senior Justin Florek last season, with the Marquette native serving as captain on home ice and the veteran blue liner captaining the Wildcats on the road.
This year, Macaulay will wear the captain's C alone in what will be the final season of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
"I'm excited to get going. It's a big honor to be named captain," Macaulay said Tuesday during the team's official Media Day.
"I had the pleasure to share it with Florek and this year, it's going to be an opportunity to have it home and away.
"We have a great supporting cast with the other seniors in the locker room and the other assistant captains," he added.
While Macaulay sports the C, sophomore forward Reed Seckel and junior forward Stephan Vigier will wear an A on their chest as assistant captains in 2012-13, with the program set to join the WCHA in 2013-14.
Macaulay has started on the blue line each of the last three seasons, accumulating four goals, 34 assists and a career plus/minus rating of minus-9.
Vigier, the cousin of former Wildcat J.P. Vigier (1996-2000), is the top returning goal scorer after posting 13 markers last season. In two seasons, he has racked up 16 goals and 22 assists.
Seckel saw his first full-season of action last year after taking a redshirt in 2010-11 due to an injury. He had two assists in 11 games that season before going down, then posted eight goals and 12 assists in 2011-12.
NMU head coach Walt Kyle, who along with his coaching staff is still limited to only two hours of on-ice practice time this week due to NCAA rules, said he may name another assistant captain later.
Kyle said Macaulay, Vigier and Seckel are all proven leaders, but he'll need more than just those three to step up this season.
"I can't say we're going to add anyone right now," Kyle said. "I'm a big believer in you have to have a group of guys anointed your captains, the guys who are leading the team with letters.
"You also have to have a lot of guys from within the room that certainly are leaders. We have a number of those guys."
Northern also has eight newcomers this season, plus a pair of players who will sit out in Swedish goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom and junior transfer Luke Eibler from Northeaster.
Freshman goaltender Michael Doan of Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario, Canada) will back up junior Jared Coreau, while junior transfer Nathan Taurence of the College of St. Scholastica and freshman Ryan Trenz from St. Louis and the Chicago Steel of the USHL provide depth on defense.
NMU also added five freshman forwards in Cohen Adair of Stratford (Ont.) and the Powell River Kings of the BCHL; Ryan Aynsley of Kelowna (British Columbia) and the Castlegar Rebels of the KIJHL; Robert Lindores of Port Alberni (B.C.) and the BCHL's Surrey Eagles; Darren Nowick of Long Beach, Calif., and the BCHL's Vernon Vipers; and Justin Rose of Gibbong (Alberta) and the AJHL's Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
"We have a number of guys who are capable of making an impact," Kyle said about the freshmen class. "You don't win without veterans or returning players making steps and being better. You don't win without good leadership. You don't win without good chemistry."
Matt Wellens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252.