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Roadrunners Name Mermis Team Captain, Announce Leadership Group

By: Tucson Roadrunners
TUCSON, AZ – The Tucson Roadrunners, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes announced today that defenseman Dakota Mermis has been named as the club’s new team captain. 
The 24-year-old from Alton, IL becomes the third captain in Roadrunners franchise history, succeeding Craig Cunningham and Andrew Campbell in the role.
Previously serving as an alternate captain in the 2017-18 season, the 6-foot, 195-pound defenseman is currently in his third year as a Roadrunner and fourth professionally.
“Dakota has the ability to carry the coaching staff’s message into our locker room,” said Roadrunners Head Coach Jay Varady of the announcement. “He has the ability to stand up and talk in the dressing room, he has the ability to talk in the coaching room in terms of the message or how the team is feeling and he backs that up with his play in practice and in games.”
Mermis made his National Hockey League debut on November 2, 2017 against the Buffalo Sabres as a member of the Arizona Coyotes. As a member of the Oshawa Generals, the left-handed shot concluded his junior career with a Memorial Cup Championship.
“I’ve been lucky to be able to have learned from Craig Cunningham and Andrew Campbell, so to be taking over this year is definitely an honor,” said Mermis.  “It’s a group effort and being the leader is exciting, but it goes to guys outside of wearing letters in the room, there’s a lot of leaders in our group.”
In naming Mermis the club’s leader, Varady also named Mario Kempe as a full-time alternate captain, while Robbie Russo and Laurent Dauphin will split duties as the team’s second alternate captain.
“Our [leadership] group all has experience at the American Hockey League level and above,” Varady continued. All of them work extremely hard on their game and are not only interested in their own performance but the team’s performance.  Having that balance is extremely important.”
Previous Roadrunners Captains
Craig Cunningham: 2016-17
Andrew Campbell: 2017-18