Winnipeg Jets name Adam Lowry team captain

Mar 23, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Winnipeg Jets center Adam Lowry (17) celebrates after a goal as Anaheim Ducks defenseman Colton White (45) and goaltender Lukas Dostal (1) react in the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Winnipeg Jets center Adam Lowry (17) celebrates after a goal as Anaheim Ducks defenseman Colton White (45) and goaltender Lukas Dostal (1) react in the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Adam Lowry has been named the 3rd captain of the Winnipeg Jets, and the 10th captain in franchise history.

Lowry has been a staple of the Jets ever since making the team during the 2014-15 season after a successful year in the AHL. The massive, 6’6 center has never been a top line threat during his career, but has made good on being the second ever draft pick in Jets 2.0 history, after being selected in the 3rd round, 67th overall in 2011.

Truthfully, it looked for a long time that the man Winnipeg made the first selection in team history, Mark Scheifele, would be the successor to Blake Wheeler as captain. But with his contract status in doubt, lingering questions on how he and Wheeler led the locker room, and his open questioning of his future in Winnipeg two summers ago, it’s now Lowry who takes the torch.

Josh Morrissey was the other obvious candidate.

Observant fans could also have noticed an increase in Lowry’s visibility in the community and social media lately, as he was a Jets ambassador for the new Toba Centre for Children and Youth. He’s been involved in the project since 2022, and was front and center during its unveiling last week.

In some ways, the Jets are now one more step removed from the Paul Maurice and Wheeler-led era, and further into the next phase of the Jets. Which will evidently be led by Adam Lowry and Josh Morrissey, and for now, Mark Scheifele and Rick Bowness.

Really, Lowry has done everything possible to earn the captaincy.

The prototypical shutdown center, Lowry has faced high volumes of defensive starts his entire career, and has been a staple on the penalty kill, leading Winnipeg forwards in penalty killing time per game last year. He was the forward anchor for a unit that finished 7th in the league last year, killing at an 82.4% success rate. Lowry also tallied five shorthanded points, tying his career high set two seasons ago.

He’s been reliable as a left handed face off man too, winning over 50% of his faceoffs in each of the last 7 seasons, peaking in 2018-19 with a 57.4% win rate when he finished 5th in the league among players with over 500 faceoffs taken.

Ultimately, Lowry had one of his best seasons ever last year, posting career highs in assists (23) and points (36) while supplying his usual double digit goal total. Add in his four goals in five playoff games, and he really did do everything possible to put himself in the mix from an on-ice perspective.

What does it mean for the Winnipeg Jets and their future?

Winnipeg has been at a clear crossroads over the past few seasons, with the team failing to maintain the expected heights reached in 2017-18. Blake Wheeler’s age turned to the wrong side of 35, and the Jets have experienced many challenges since The Great Defenseman Exodus of 2019, when Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba, and others never returned to the defense core.

It’s also no secret that Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck are on the final year of their current contracts.

It’s with Lowry’s captaincy that Winnipeg can continue to look toward the next steps for the team, offering some certainty in the leadership group for the foreseeable future.

Zooming out, this is in theory a milestone moment: the Jets have now, for the first time in team history, named a captain that they drafted and developed. The previous two, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler, were valuable holdovers from their brief Atlanta Thrashers tenure. But not Lowry. He’s a symbol of what Mark Chipman, True North, and Kevin Chevyldayoff seem to value.

Which is loyalty.

Sometimes Winnipeg can be loyal to a fault (Paul Maurice probably should have been let go much sooner), but the Jets finally have a career long-Jet to show the next era what it means to do things the Winnipeg way and how to be a Winnipeg Jet.

Over the next few seasons, Winnipeg’s most recent run of first round draftees (Chaz Lucius, Rutger McGroarty, Brad Lambert, and Colby Barlow), will be given every chance possible to make the team, and it will be Adam Lowry (along with assistant captain Josh Morrissey) who will be tasked with welcoming them to the big leagues and shepherding them along. And ideally, instilling winning habits in the process.

That should come naturally to Adam Lowry.

Being a third round pick, Lowry has had to earn every single second he’s played in the NHL. Sure, he scored 45 goals for the Swift Current Broncos his final year of junior, but he never projected to be a point producer at the NHL level. Instead, he has maximized his abilities and become the classic third line staple teams love to have, and has been a key part to some of the team’s more successful seasons, forming solid third line duos with the likes of Mathieu Perrault, Andrew Copp, and Brandon Tanev.

That type of tenacity and will is only good for the younger Jets to see.

And though he’s carved out a successful NHL career by any standards thus far, let alone for a 3rd round pick, he will never be the greatest 67th overall pick in NHL history. That will belong to Mark Recchi for a long time.

But so far, he’s the only captain.