Canada named Vancouver Giants forward Milan Lucic captain on Saturday for the upcoming junior men's hockey Super Series against Russia.
A second-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 2006, Lucic led the Giants to the Memorial Cup title in May, garnering most valuable player honours for the tournament.
The six-foot-two, 220-pound power forward also scored 30 goals and 68 points for the Giants during the Western Hockey League regular season.
Russia has already played two exhibition games to prepare for the series, while Canada hasn't played any.
"We're aware that there's going to be a lot of adversity in these first four games and it's going to be a grind for us because we have the jet lag," Lucic said following Saturday's skate at Sokolniki Arena. "That comes with the territory and we can't let that get to us."
Canadian head coach Brent Sutter chose Lucicbecause of the overall skills he brings to the team.
"When you think about three years ago to where he is now, it's pretty amazing," Sutter said. "It's strictly because of his determination and heart and that comes over and above anything he brings to the game and we need that inside of our dressing room."
Calgary Hitmen defenceman Karl Alzner, London Knights forward Sam Gagner and Red Deer Rebels forward Brandon Sutter were named assistant captains.
The Super Series begins with games Monday and Wednesday in Ufa, Russia — about 1,300 kilometres east of Moscow. Games 3 and 4 will be Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 in Omsk, which is another 1,300 kilometres east of that.
The four games in Canada will be held in Winnipeg (Sept. 4), Saskatoon (Sept. 5), Red Deer, Alta., (Sept. 7) and Vancouver (Sept. 9).