Bauml honored to be Silvertips’ captain

EVERETT — Kohl Bauml has seen both ends of the spectrum during his time with the Everett Silvertips. He’s been part of a team that at one point found itself 10 points off the bottom of the WHL’s Western Conference standings. He’s seen the team rise from the ranks of annual mediocrity to become one of the better ones in the Western Hockey League.

Now, Bauml is hoping the Tips will continue their upward trend under his stewardship. Named Everett’s captain for the 2014-15 season last week, Bauml is ready to lead the Tips as they seek to build upon recent success.

“It’s a huge honor,” said Bauml, who is the 11th captain in franchise history. “You see the captain’s wall walking into the room ever day. I know a couple guys on that list — (Ryan) Murray, (Matt) Pufahl, (Mitch) Love our assistant coach.

“It’s pretty special for me, being here for four years now and seeing the development of the program. When I first started, we were toward the bottom of the league, now we’re toward the top. It’s a pretty special moment for myself.”

Bauml’s teammates voted him captain. Defenseman Ben Betker and winger Brayden Low were selected as alternate captains.

“I’ve done the same thing for almost 30 years of coaching,” Everett coach Kevin Constantine said. “You always kind of reserve the right as a staff to have input, but if the players vote and it’s right in line with what you’re thinking, then there’s no use in not letting the players pick their own captain.

“It was pretty unanimous that it was the three guys, and it was clearly Bauml getting the most votes, so it was really simple. Most people wanted Bauml and almost everybody wanted the three guys that were picked, so it was very straightforward.”

Bauml, a 20-year-old center from, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is in his fourth season with the Tips, making him the senior member of the team along with goaltender Austin Lotz. He’s appeared in 225 games during his Everett career, which ranks eighth in franchise history. During those games he’s amassed 57 goals and 65 assists. This season he’s fourth on the team in scoring with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 23 contests.

When he first arrived in Everett for the 2011-12 season, Bauml found himself part of a team seeking an identity while struggling through a rebuilding process. In each of his first two seasons, the Tips finished eighth in the 10-team Western Conference, just squeaking into the final playoff spot on the last weekend of the season.

But Bauml and the Tips made a 31-point improvement in the standings last season to return to relevancy, and this season Everett is 16-4-2-1 and in first place in the U.S. Division. Bauml is hoping his understated style of leadership will help keep the Tips rolling.

“I’m more walk-the-walk versus talk-the-talk,” Bauml said. “I try to lead by example more than anything. I don’t try to do too much talking in the room, I leave that to the other guys for the most part. But when I do have something to say I’ll speak up. I’m more about doing it on the ice, showing them the right way to do it and playing hockey the right way, rather than the rah-rah, in-your-face type of leader.”

The Tips took their sweet time in naming their captain, waiting until nearly a third of the season passed before making a decision. In the interim, Everett’s three overagers — Bauml, Betker and Low — served as alternate captains with no one wearing the “C” on his jersey.

In the end, the vote caused no real change to Everett’s captaincy group.

“Those three overage kids have been captaining since training camp and have been doing a good job of it,” Constantine said. “We’re very happy with our leadership group. They’re players who have been with the program for a while; they’re players who have matured as people and as hockey players. We’ve been pretty happy from Day 1 at how they have been doing, it was just a matter of making it formal.”

Bauml was an alternate captain last season, and he’s the only returning member of Everett’s captaincy group, so his selection came as no surprise — though Bauml wasn’t necessarily expecting to be handed the “C.”

“You can’t say you ever expect to be the captain,” Bauml said. “I came into this year trying to be A leader, I wasn’t trying to be THE leader. We have a great leadership group between me, Ben and Brayden. We knew there was probably going to be a captain named at some point, but it doesn’t change anything. It’s not just the Kohl Bauml show now, it’s still a group effort.”

Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at, and follow him on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.

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