Oct 18, 2012, 9:42 AM EST
It’s the little things which set Anders Lee apart from other hockey players. Some would say it’s his size; others, his talent. But the fact of the matter is that plenty of other players have those attributes—they just don’t have those “little things.”
It’s hard to put a finger exactly on what it is that Lee has, and to really define those little things. One thing is for sure: they are definitely intangible traits. Anyone could be big. Anyone could throw a wicked shoulder along the boards. Anyone could have a heavy slap shot, or an extremely agile stick. And sure, Lee has most of these traits in varying degrees, but he’s also got charisma and an innate ability to lead—characteristics that are hard to come across in addition to those aforementioned.
Something that I firmly believe and have seen to be true is that a player’s personality off the ice usually tends to translate to the player he is on the ice. If a player is more of an introvert and not very outgoing off the ice, then they are more likely to become your stay-at-home defenseman or your grinding and hardworking forward. Your extroverts and “life of the party” players will tend to be your flashy players—the danglers and the end-to-end defenseman. It’s tough to fit Anders Lee into these two categories. Rather, Lee would be more like that friend you have that seems to always have his stuff together; the one that has a plan, the mature one.
Clearly Coach Jeff Jackson sees this too. Anders Lee, only a junior on the team, was named the only captain for this 2012-2013 hockey season. Coach Jackson understands that leadership isn’t always about age or seniority. Leadership is about that intangible characteristic of maturity—something Lee clearly shows. Coach Jackson knew this last year, when he appointed Lee, a sophomore at the time, as an assistant captain.
Captaining a team is no new experience to Lee. In high school, Lee was the captain of not only his hockey team, but his varsity football team as well, where he served as quarterback. This experience no doubt is connected to Lee’s maturity and ability to lead a team at the collegiate level.
When asked about the expectations for captaining a team of this caliber, Lee responded, “My job is to put this team in a position to win a championship and to represent this school the way it deserves to be represented.” Said like a true captain—with modesty and maturity.
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