MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey head has named senior forwards Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan) and Zach Diamantoni (Montgomery, New Jersey) the co-captain of the 2017-18 Wildcats. Senior defenseman Jordan Klimek (Langley, British Columbia, Canada) was named NMU's alternate captain.
"One of the highest honors an athlete can receive is the confidence from their peers to lead a team," said Wildcats' head coach Grant Potulny. "I could not be more excited to have Zach, Robbie, and Jordan leading this year's team."
Payne played in 39 games a season ago, scoring 29 points on 13 goals and 16 assists and is the top returner in points and goals. For his career, the forward has totaled 60 points on 30 goals and an equal number of assists. Payne is also a two-time Western College Hockey Association Scholar Athlete and All-Academic Team member.
Diamantoni recorded the sixth for NMU in assists, goals, and points in 2016-17. His 20 points on the year came from six goals and 14 points. In 108 career games, Diamantoni has totaled 40 total points on 11 goals and 29 assists. The senior forward is also a two-time WCHA Scholar Athete and All-Academic Team Member.
Klimek was one of nine Wildcats to appear in all 39 games a season ago. During those contets, Klimek recorded 11 points, each on an assist. The senior defenseman has 25 points in his career on a lone goal and 24 assists. The two time WCHA All-Academic Team member was also honored once as a WCHA Scholar Athlete.
"These men exemplify everything we are looking for in someone to lead your program, Potulny added. "They are outstanding students, active in our community and bring a high level of work ethic to the ice sheet. Each one of them has truly earned this achievement."
NMU opens their season Friday, October 6 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. with Lake Superior State University on Friday before both team come to Marquette, Michigan on Saturday, October 7. The Wildcats' home contests with LSSU on Saturday will be the first game on the new "Rick Comley Rink". Comley, the first NMU men's ice hockey head coach will be honored during the official rink dedication prior to Saturday's home opener.