The Barrie Colts announced Wednesday afternoon that veteran defenceman Connor Punnett has been named team captain for the 2023-24 Ontario Hockey League season.
The overager becomes the 24th captain in franchise history.
For the 20-year native of Powassan, Ont., just outside North Bay, this marks Punnett's fourth season with the Barrie club.
Last season with the Colts, he had a career-high 14 goals and 34 assists in 66 regular-season games, which was a huge jump in his offensive game from the season prior, while also providing some bite on the back end with 109 penalty minutes. In Barrie's playoff run, Punnett also had two assists in nine games.
Punnett is listed at six-foot-two and 198 pounds. He came to Barrie from the Saginaw Spirit midway through the 2019-20 season as part of the trade that sent Ryan Suzuki the other way. That deal also included forward Ethan Cardwell and bevy of draft picks coming to Barrie.
As Barrie's newest captain, Punnett joins an esteemed list that includes the likes of Brandt Clarke, Aaron Ekblad and Bryan Little.
“Connor is a player that has taken massive strides in his games since we traded for him," Colts head coach and general manager Marty Williamson said on the team's website. "To go along with the character, he has shown strong leadership capabilities on and off the ice.
"He was the obvious choice to lead our group this season and we couldn’t be more proud of him," Williamson added.
Punnett, who has played 156 games in a Colts uniform, recently participated in the Detroit Red Wings rookie camp.