Komets coach Ben Boudreau wants “difference makers.” His new captain, Matthew Boudens, was one in Saturday’s 4-3 season-opening victory over the Wheeling Nailers.
Boudens had two goals, one assist, a bit of a scrap with Tyler Drevitch and a bevy of hits. (By the way, Boudens had only four goals in 37 games last regular season.)
Asked how the decision to make Boudens the captain was made, over choices such as Anthony Petruzzelli and Marcus McIvor, who were the alternates Saturday, or Zach Tolkinen and Connor Jones, Boudreau said: “I believe that Boudens has always been a natural leader and he comes out, and it’s not anything that he tries to do, it’s just natural to him, and it’s something he’s done for the last two years here. We needed to choose a captain and both him, Petruzzelli and McIvor, they’ve all worn letters, but they all lead by example and ultimately somebody needed to get the ‘C’. And I thought the way Boudens played last year during the playoffs when everything was on the line, he rose to the top and made a difference. You need people like that to be difference makers in big games.”
Boudens was a captain in juniors with the Drummondville Voltigeurs and an alternate at the University of New Brunswick. With the Komets, he replaces A.J. Jenks, who retired after winning the Kelly Cup in July.
“It means a lot with a storied franchise like Fort Wayne. It’s not something you take lightly, I’m pretty honored,” said Boudens, 28, who is in his third season with Fort Wayne. “Obviously, playing under Jenksy, he was a pretty good model for leadership. We had an older group last year and you learn from those guys. We’ve got a good leadership crew here, regardless of whether there are letters on their jerseys or not, and I think that’s huge for the winning culture.
“It’s an honor to be wearing that letter and we’ve got lots of leaders in that room that we’re going to rely on throughout this season, so I’m obviously happy about being able to wear the ‘C’ for Fort Wayne and it’s pretty exciting.”
I remember when the Komets first signed Boudens out of UNB: There were comparisons quietly made to Colin Chaulk, the Komets' longtime leader, so it's not surprising that Boudens now has the captaincy.