Two years ago, Greg Wolfe described himself as “a little timid” freshman.
Now that timid MSU hockey forward has evolved into a leader of the program, and that leadership role was made concrete today as head coach Tom Anastos named the junior captain of the Spartan squad.
“Greg Wolfe represents all of the things that are important to Spartan hockey,” Anastos said in a release. “It includes his commitment to academics, his community involvement, his ability to effectively relate to all of his teammates and his ability to inspire them. He’s not an overly vocal leader, but when he talks, his teammates listen.”
Wolfe said Anastos gave the team leadership evaluations to fill out at the beginning of the year, and all four of the captains made consistent appearances on the sheets.
“I sensed people looking up to me.” Wolfe said. “I was like, ‘Well, we need someone to step up here,’ so I took it upon myself to be more vocal and try to always lead by example, not take days off or complain about having to be at the rink — just really staying focused on being positive and buying into the system that we have.”
Of the four players picked, Grassi said he believes they make up the perfect combination of leadership abilities, and that will create a strong balance amongst them.
“I think Wolfe is a great guy for the ‘C,’” Grassi said. “He’s one of the hardest workers on the ice every day. I think Forfar’s the same way, not as loud as maybe me and Hayes, but he works hard and is not afraid to step up when something needs to be said. Hayes and (I) are hard workers, but I think we’re a little more vocal; we kind of hold others accountable.”
Anastos must see similar qualities in the players to those that Grassi sees, stating in the release that three alternative captains have “all emerged as go-to leaders” within Spartan hockey.
This season will be Hayes’ second serving on the captain squad. He served as an alternative captain last season under then-junior defenseman Torey Krug, who forwent his senior year of eligibility for a professional contract with the Boston Bruins.
“Honestly, with the group of guys we have on this team, they could have named 10 guys captain,” Hayes said. “I truly believe that. There’s a lot of guys who won’t be wearing a letter who rightfully deserve one and who still will be great leaders.”
Wolfe said he took a lot from watching the way his former captain handled himself — a move he will try to translate to his own captaining.
“At the end of the day, I personally tried to step up my leadership skills,” Wolfe said. “I took a lot of notes from Torey Krug. I lived with him, and I just kind of watched what he did. He really helped me understand the role, and I wanted to have a bigger impact on the team, so I tried over the summer to take that step; and apparently, it worked out.”