There was a little required knitting before Jason Willms and his Barrie Colts jersey were ready for the OHL club’s annual team photo.

That’s because the Colts named the third-year centre the 20 captain in franchise history on Jan. 14.

Willms, who was a third-round pick of Barrie in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, replaces Justin Murray, who was traded to the Saginaw Spirit  in early Dec.

Ben Hawerchuk, Tyler Tucker and Ryan Suzuki are the assistant captains.

Willms has nine goals and 17 assists in 26 games this season and has recorded 49 goals and 109 points over 177 regular season games with Barrie in his OHL career.

Earlier in the day, the Colts announced the signing of defenceman Matthew Sredl. The 16-year-old native of Raleigh, North Carolina, who was a 12-round selection of Barrie in the 2018 OHL draft, was playing with the Honeybaked 16 and under team.

The right-handed shooting Sredl has tallied 10 goals and 34 assists in 46 games this season.

“We are very excited about this young prospect, who we classify as a modern-day defenceman,” Colts general manager and head scout Jason Ford said of the six-foot, 190-pound blue liner. “Matthew brings good size, mobility, hockey sense, toughness and has the ability to be effective at both the offensive and defensive ends.”

Sredl will be sporting No. 18 this season.

In other Colts news, it was announced Suzuki will play for Team Orr against Team Cherry in the 2019 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, scheduled for Jan. 23 in Red Deer, Alta.

The second-year centre will be one of 40 NHL draft eligible players, divided into teams by NHL Central Scouting, taking part in the 24 annual junior hockey showcase.

Suzuki, who leads the team with 12 goals and 41 points in 39 games this season, heads into the game with an A rating (indicating a first-round candidate) on the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List.


photo: The Barrie Colts named veteran centre Jason Willms captain, replacing Justin Murray who was traded to the Saginaw Spirit back in early December. Terry Wilson/OHL Images

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