Chris Drury will be sporting a new look in his second season with the New York Rangers.
The veteran forward will take the ice Saturday in Prague for the NHL team's opening game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 12 p.m. ET) wearing the captain's C.
Drury, 32, was handed the honour during a team dinner Friday, succeeding Jaromir Jagr, who will play for Omsk Avangard in Russia's Continental Hockey League this season.
Entering his 10th season in the NHL, Drury is the 25th captain in franchise history.
"Chris Drury is a natural leader who possesses all of the qualities and characteristics we desire from our captain," said Rangers general manager Glen Sather.
"He has always been known as a clutch performer and a winner. Chris leads by example with his tireless work ethic on and off the ice, and is extremely deserving of this honour."
Drury served as co-captain of the Buffalo Sabres with Danny Briere before signing with the Rangers in 2007, as captain in high school, at Boston University, and on his baseball team that reached the Little League World Series.
"To be a captain anywhere in the NHL is a huge honour and a huge thrill," Drury said during a conference call. "To get to do it with the Rangers, the team that I grew up cheering for and going to the Garden as a kid, and now to be a captain it's hard to put into words. It's a huge honour. I'm just thrilled."
The Rangers also announced forwards Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund will be assistant captains.
"There are a lot of good guys that Tom and Glen could have picked," Drury said. "I am going to lean heavily on them, and hopefully we'll tackle it all together. It's a pretty good mix. That's how Danny and I did it and it seemed to work well."
Drury is coming off a 2007-08 campaign in which he scored 25 goals and 58 points in 82 games.
He will be asked to step up in terms of both production and leadership this season with fellow forwards Martin Straka (Europe) Sean Avery (Dallas Stars) and Brendan Shanahan (free agent) not with the team.
The Rangers are the fourth team for Drury, a former third-round pick of the Quebec Nordiques in 1994.
The Rangers and Lightning will complete the two-game set on Sunday.
Tampa Bay is the designated home team for Saturday's game, with the roles reversed for the second Czech clash.
New York went 1-5 in pre-season games with NHL clubs, trounced Swiss club Bern and posted a comeback victory over Russia's Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Tampa Bay was 3-1 in North America before defeating HC Slovan Bratislava and Eisbaren Berlin in European tuneups. The Rangers and Lightning split four games last season, with Tampa Bay taking the last two contests.With files from the Canadian Press