ESTERO, Fla. — Florida Everblades head coach Brad Ralph announced on Tuesday the team’s leadership group for the 2018-19 season.
"We are pleased to appoint John McCarron as our captain for the 2018-19 season," Ralph said. "John has been an emotional leader for this team over the past two seasons, and he has been a big part of the team's ability to develop and maintain a winning culture. John is a high character person that leads by example, but most importantly, he shows he cares about his teammates and the organization.
"Additionally, we are happy to announce assistant captains Joe Cox, Logan Roe, and Jordon Southorn. Our organization is deep in tradition and success. We are fortunate to have these young men round out our leadership group."
In his third season with the Everblades, McCarron, 26, is the second team captain in Ralph’s tenure as head coach and is serving as a captain for the second time in his career. Prior to turning professional, the Macomb, Michigan, native captained Cornell University in his junior and senior seasons from 2013-15.
“It’s an honor. We voted on it as a team, and I have the respect of my teammates,” McCarron said. “I go to battle for them every day. It’s a privilege to be captain. There have been a lot of great captains that have played here in the past, so I just want to live up to their legacy and help in any way I can.”
A 6-foot-3, 218-pound forward, McCarron was a vital piece of Florida’s run to the Kelly Cup Finals last season. He led the ‘Blades with 29 goals in the regular season and finished with a career-high 63 points. In 21 games in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, McCarron tabbed 10 more goals and had 20 total points, ranking third on Florida in playoff scoring.
Before joining Florida, McCarron helped lead the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers to the Kelly Cup Finals in the 2015-16 season as a first-year pro. He finished second among Nailers rookies that season with 31 points and was second on the team in scoring in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with 23 points in 25 games. McCarron has 159 points in 184 career ECHL games, including 71 goals and 88 assists.
In his four-year career at Cornell, McCarron played in 131 games and registered 74 points on 24 goals and 50 assists. He netted a career-high 24 points in his junior season in 2013-14, his first year serving as captain for the Big Red.
Cox and Roe are two other key pieces returning from a season ago, while Southorn has the most professional experience of any player on the Florida roster.
“Obviously, we need that leadership group,” Ralph said of the captains. “With a new team, these are returning players that we’re going to rely on heavily here to take us where we need to go.”
A native of Cape Coral, Florida, Roe is in his fourth season with the ‘Blades and is the active leader for games played with the organization. Through 187 career games with Florida, Roe has potted 12 goals and 47 assists for 59 career points. He has also played three games in the AHL, all three of which came during the 2015-16 season while on loan to the Springfield Falcons. Roe, 26, enjoyed a four-year career at Canisius College, suiting up in 146 games and recording 25 points.
A ninth-year pro and the most veteran player on Florida’s roster, Southorn, 28, has played in 336 professional games, including 283 games in the ECHL spread across seven seasons. The Montréal, Quebec, native played each of the last two seasons in Russia in both the KHL and VHL before signing with the ‘Blades in the offseason. Southorn, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman, is serving in a captain role for the first time in his career.
Cox, 24, is filling a captain role for the third time in his career after serving as both an alternate captain and captain at Michigan State University in his junior and senior seasons, respectively. The ‘Blades leading rookie scorer last season, Cox recorded 54 points (22 G, 32 A) in 70 regular season games with Florida. He debuted with the organization at the end of the 2016-17 season, playing in five games after finishing his four-year career at MSU. The Chelsea, Michigan, native played 143 games with the Spartans, posting 69 career points on 28 goals and 41 assists.
Florida continues a stretch of five straight games against the Jacksonville Icemen this weekend with a pair of games at Hertz Arena. Faceoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes