Two very familiar faces have been named as player leadership for the Minnesota Wilderness for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.
Cole Gordon and Gunnar Thoreson will serve as team co-captains. Both are in their third season with the Wilderness and spent the 2021-22 season as alternate captains.
Gordon has played 96 regular season games over his career with the Wilderness, plus nine playoff games. Over his career, including post-season, the 19-year-old forward from Windsor, CO, has generated 7 goals and 10 assists for 17 points along with 160 penalty minutes.
Thoreson, a 20-year-old forward from Andover, MN, has skated in 128 games with Minnesota. For the regular season, his all-time totals of 24 goals, 50 assists and 74 points all rank in the top ten for Wilderness career statistics. In 12 career playoff games, he has added 4 goals and 2 assists. He has also recorded 118 career penalty minutes. In 2021-22, Thoreson was one of three players to get into all 60 regular season games and all 9 playoff games. He also became only the 4th Wilderness player to reach the 60-point mark in a single season. Thoreson has committed to play NCAA hockey at St. Lawrence University.
Thoreson and Gordon were selected as captains through a team player vote.
The team also selected six players to rotate as alternate captains. The rotation will be based on the uniform the team will wear. Below is a list of each player with background.
White (home) jersey:
- Calvin Knight: Knight is a forward in his second season with the Wilderness. Over 73 games, the 20-year-old from Evergreen, CO, has recorded three goals and seven assists for 10 points, plus 18 penalty minutes, combined with playoffs and regular season.
- Michael Quinn: A 19-year-old defenseman from St. Louis, MO, Quinn is in his second season of Jr. hockey. Quinn split his first season with the Madison Capitols, Muskegon Lumberjacks and Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL, playing a combined total of 58 games. Quinn suffered an injury in his second game with the Wilderness and is expected to return later this month. He has posted one assist this season.
Black (road) jersey:
- Charlie Erickson: After starting his junior career with the NA3HL’s Granite City Lumberjacks, Erickson has played entirely with the Wilderness. The 20-year-old skated in 4 games with Granite City in 2020-21 before suffering a season-ending injury. Throughout his career with Minnesota, Erickson has played in 57 games, posting 7 goals and 16 assists for 23 points, plus 16 penalty minutes. Erickson is from Two Harbors, MN, and played his high school hockey at Duluth East.
- Severi Sulonen: A defenseman from Turku, Finland, Sulonen began his jr. career in 2020-21 playing five games with the Northeast Generals of the NAHL, recording one assist. Since coming to the Wilderness last season, the 20-year-old has skated in 76 regular season and playoff games. Statistically, he has racked up three goals and eight assists for 11 points, plus 42 penalty minutes.
Red (commemorative 10th season) jersey:
- Hunter Bulger: Bulger was just recently acquired in a trade with the North Iowa Bulls, where he played three games this season and scored one goal. Another native of St. Louis, MO, Bulger played 56 games for North Iowa in 2021-22, finishing with 16 goals and 9 assists for 25 points, while adding two penalty minutes. Since coming to Minnesota, over 5 games, the 20-year-old Bulger has one assist under his belt, with two penalty minutes.
- Ren Morque: Morque began his Jr. A career in 2021-22 after completing his final season of high school hockey at Grand Rapids HS in Minnesota. The 18-year-old has begun 2022-23 leading all NAHL defensemen with 11 assists over 11 games and his 11 points is tied for the league lead in points among blueliners. For his career, over 21 games, the Grand Rapids native has notched two goals and 15 assists for 17 points, plus 10 penalty minutes.
The Wilderness will return to the ice Oct. 21, for the first of a two-game home series with Springfield.