The captain of a team is one who commands, leads and guides his fellow teammates.
The men’s ice hockey team chose forward Nick Shalek ’05 as the man for the job for the 2004-2005 season.
“I am incredibly honored,” Shalek said. “It could have been anyone from my class.”
As is tradition, a single team captain is selected by his teammates. The Bulldog players voted Monday, and the results were announced that night at the hockey banquet held at the Yale Golf Course. Shalek accepted the honor in front of teammates, parents and numerous friends and supporters of Yale hockey.
“His teammates have selected him because of his character and work ethic,” head coach Tim Taylor said. “I think he has all the makings of a tremendous Yale captain. He does what it takes to battle and scrap and work his way up the ladder, which he has done over the last two years.”
Former captain Vin Hellemeyer ’04 handed over the reins to Shalek during a ceremony in which the Yale Men’s Hockey Association presented a number of individual awards.
Though he has tallied only two assists thus far in his collegiate career, Shalek has given three years of dedication and commitment to the Bulldogs. He appeared in four games his sophomore year and scored his first point as a Bulldog with an assist against St. Lawrence University Feb. 7, 2003.
This season Shalek continued to impress Taylor and fellow teammates with an incredible work ethic, earning the right to suit up for 12 games.
“His inspirational play this past year, poise and maturity in the face of adversity are the big reasons why his peers felt that he should be their leader,” Taylor said.
Shalek’s teammates always notice the extra effort and contribution he brings to the rink.
“Having played with him for a good portion of the season I began to notice all the little things he does to help the team out,” forward Bob Burns ’07 said, “whether it’s blocking a shot, finishing checks or just keeping people positive on the bench.”
Shalek has been a leader since early in his sporting career. While attending Rye Country Day for high school, he captained his soccer, hockey and lacrosse teams in his senior year. He constantly led by example, earning two MVP awards in both hockey and lacrosse. Shalek has also proven himself off the ice as an excellent scholar. In high school he was a National Merit Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction and a winner of numerous academic prizes.
Since coming to Yale, Shalek has continued his success in the classroom, double-majoring in economics and political science. His excellent scholarship and athletic success earned him a spot on the ECAC All-Academic Team this season.
With Shalek as captain, Yale will be looking to improve after an early exit from the ECAC playoffs and a 12-19- 0, 10-12-0 conference record. While the rising junior class brings much powerful offense, the Bulldogs will be looking to replace their two top defensemen and the leadership lost with the graduation of six seniors.
Shalek recognizes that his class has what it takes to fill that leadership void.
“We have a great class of leaders,” Shalek said. “I think that we can be a team that Yale can be proud of. We will be a very cohesive team and very hardworking team. We will be the hardest working team in the league. Those are the goals that I know we can attain and that a strong senior class can have an influence on.”
MALCOLM G. CHACE AWARD
Presented to the player who, through sportsmanship, spirit and ability, has best served the finest traditions of Yale hockey as exemplified by Malcolm G. Chace. Forward Vin Hellemeyer ’04.
J. MURRAY MURDOCH AWARD
Presented to the member of the team deemed the most valuable player. Defenseman Jeff Dwyer ’04.
JOHN POINIER AWARD
Presented to the best defensive player. Goalie Josh Gartner ’06.
DAVID C. NOYES III AWARD
Presented to the player whose performance and attitude has most inspired his teammates through his determination, grit and courage. Forward Nathan Murphy ’04.
EDWARD M. WRIGHT, M.D. AWARD
For athletic accomplishments, leadership and dedication to the higher purposes of intercollegiate athletics. This award is based equally on two factors: success on the ice and success in the classroom. Center Ryan Steeves ’04.
MARTIN DWYER III AWARD
Presented to the most outstanding first-year player. Forward Brad Mills ’07.
YALE HOCKEY COACHES AWARD
Presented to the player whose determination and desire have contributed most to team morale and the spirit of hockey at Yale. Goalie Peter Dobrowolski ’04.
VIRGINIA DALE HIRD AWARD
Presented to individuals directly or indirectly related to the hockey program for outstanding contribution. Paul and Arthur Castraberti.