Jordan Kawaguchi skated onto the Olympic rink in Ralph Engelstad Arena on Monday morning.
He was wearing a black practice jersey with his number, 29, on the back.
At some point, he will be getting his game jersey, but that one is going to need a little stitching work first. Equipment manager Dan Johannson needs to sew a big 'C' on it.
According to team members who participated in an informal, voluntary skate Monday, Kawaguchi has been voted team captain for the 2020-21 season.
The development is of no surprise.
Kawaguchi was an alternate captain a year ago and proved to be a team leader on and off the ice.
Kawaguchi led the Fighting Hawks in scoring by a whopping 16 points over the next closest player. He racked up 15 goals, 30 assists and 45 points en route to being named an All-American and a Hobey Baker Award Hat Trick finalist. UND held a 26-5-4 record -- the fourth-best in program history -- when the season was abruptly ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kawaguchi is no stranger to being a captain.
He wore the 'C' for the Chilliwack Chiefs in the British Columbia Hockey League before coming to UND.
Kawaguchi, of Abbotsford, B.C., will be UND's first captain from British Columbia since Brad Bombardir, of Powell River, in 1993-94 and the sixth overall.
The others were Mark Taylor (Vancouver) in 1978-79 and 1979-80, Cary Eades (Burnaby) and Phil Sykes (Dawson Creek) in 1981-82 and Dan Brennan (Dawson Creek) in 1983-84.
Taylor captained UND to its third NCAA national championship in 1980, while Eades and Sykes co-captained the program to its fourth NCAA title two years later.
Taylor, UND's first captain from B.C., met Kawaguchi last season when Taylor was in town to be recognized for being named 1980 Hockey News Player of the Year, one year before the Hobey Baker Award was introduced.
Despite receiving NHL interest as a free agent, Kawaguchi opted to return to UND for his senior season.
He spent last month in Brainerd, Minn., working out with three-time Iron Man winner Cole Smith in order to prepare for this season. Colton Poolman, a one-time Iron Man winner and UND's captain of the past two seasons, also was working out in Brainerd.
Four players to wear an 'A'
UND's alternate captains will be senior defenseman Matt Kiersted and juniors Jacob Bernard-Docker, Jasper Weatherby and Mark Senden.
Kiersted also wore an 'A' last season along with Kawaguchi and Smith.
Despite having numerous opportunities to sign a free-agent NHL contract and turn pro, Kiersted opted to return for his senior season to try to make a run at a national title.
Upon making his decision to return in April, Kiersted told the Herald: "I didn't want to leave, especially with the way the season ended and how good of a team we had and what we could have done. There was no closure. We did something really special this season. But next season, we're here to do more. We want that national championship banner. The Penrose was special. It was a really great accomplishment. We checked one of the boxes. But the big one is the national championship. Every year, that's what you strive for. And I think we'll have a really good chance next year."
Kiersted is the only all-National Collegiate Hockey Conference defenseman returning to the league.
First-team picks Scott Perunovich of Minnesota Duluth and Ian Mitchell of Denver both turned pro. Kiersted's fellow second-team pick, Jack Ahcan of St. Cloud State, graduated. The honorable mentions were UND's Poolman, who graduated and signed with the Calgary Flames, and Western Michigan's Mattias Saumelsson, who turned pro.
Like Kiersted, Bernard-Docker also opted to return for his junior season instead of signing with the Ottawa Senators, who drafted him in the first round in 2018.
Bernard-Docker, a gold medalist for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in January, had seven goals and 25 points in 32 games last season.
It will be Bernard-Docker's first time wearing a letter since midget and bantam hockey in Alberta.
Senden has a long history of captaining successful teams.
In high school, he captained Wayzata to its first-ever Minnesota boys hockey state championship. In juniors, he captained the Fargo Force to their first Clark Cup as United States Hockey League champions.
Senden has 11 goals and 25 points in 71 career games for the Fighting Hawks.
Weatherby, of Ashland, Ore., is the second Oregonian ever to play at UND. Now, both will go down as alternate captains. The other was Ian Kidd, who was an alternate captain for two seasons in 1985-86 and during the NCAA title-winning 1986-87 season.
Weatherby, a San Jose Sharks draft pick, has 13 goals and 23 points in 71 career games for UND.
Prior to coming to UND, Weatherby wore an 'A' for the Wenatchee (Wash.) Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League.
Four players wearing an 'A' in a single season ties for the second-most all-time at UND.
Five players wore an 'A' during the 2015-16 NCAA national championship-winning season -- Drake Caggiula, Bryn Chyzyk, Paul LaDue, Troy Stecher and Colten St. Clair.
Four players wore As during the following season -- Brock Boeser, Austin Poganski, Tucker Poolman and Jonny Simonson. Gage Ausmus served as captain in both of those seasons.
Prior to when Brad Berry took over as head coach in 2015-16, there was only one UND hockey season where five-plus players wore letters. In 1985-86, three players were captains -- Scott Sandelin, Brian Williams and Glen Klotz -- while Mickey Krampotich and Kidd served as alternate captains.
UND's all-time captains
2020-21 -- Jordan Kawaguchi
2019-20 -- Colton Poolman
2018-19 -- Colton Poolman
2017-18 -- Austin Poganski
2016-17 -- Gage Ausmus
2015-16 -- Gage Ausmus
2014-15 -- Stephane Pattyn
2013-14 -- Dillon Simpson
2012-13 -- Andrew MacWilliam
2011-12 -- Mario Lamoureux
2010-11 -- Chay Genoway
2009-10 -- Chay Genoway
2008-09 -- Ryan Duncan
2007-08 -- Rylan Kaip
2006-07 -- Chris Porter
2005-06 -- Matt Smaby
2004-05 -- Matt Greene
2003-04 -- Andy Schneider
2002-03 -- Ryan Hale
2001-02 -- Chad Mazurak
2000-01 -- Jeff Panzer
1999-00 -- Peter Armbrust
1998-99 -- Adam Calder
1997-98 -- Mitch Vig
1996-97 -- Dane Litke
1995-96 -- Dane Litke
1994-95 -- Keith Murphy
1993-94 -- Brad Bombardie
1992-93 -- Greg Johnson
1991-92 -- Dave Hakstol and Greg Johnson
1990-91 -- Dave Hakstol
1989-90 -- Lee Davidson
1988-89 -- Grant Paranica
1987-88 -- Steve Johnson
1986-87 -- Bob Joyce
1985-86 -- Scott Sandelin, Brian Willians, Glen Klotz
1984-85 -- Scott Sandelin, Jim Archibald
1983-84 -- Dan Brennan, Bill Whitsitt, Rick Zombo
1982-83 -- Dusty Carroll, Dean Dachyshyn
1981-82 -- Cary Eades, Phil Sykes
1980-81 -- Marc Chorney
1979-80 -- Mark Taylor
1978-79 -- Mark Taylor, Bill Himmelright, Mike Burggraf
1977-78 -- Scott Marvin
1976-77 -- Bob DePiero
1975-76 -- Bob DePiero, Daryl Drader, Scott Marvin
1974-75 -- Daryl Drader, Larry Drader, Ken Gibb
1973-74 -- Larry Drader, Alan Hangsleben
1972-73 -- Earl Anderson, Jim Cahoon, Al Henry
1971-72 -- Brian DePiero, Rick Wilson
1970-71 -- Brian DePiero, Mike Baumgartner
1969-70 -- Dave Hudson, John Marks
1968-69 -- Bob Munro, Bob Tuff
1967-68 -- John Gasparini, Mike Furlong, Terry Ogden
1966-67 -- Dave Janaway, Jerry Lafond
1965-66 -- Terry Casey
1964-65 -- Don Ross
1963-64 -- Sonny Roberge
1962-63 -- Sonny Roberge
1961-62 -- John Gray
1960-61 -- John Gray
1959-60 -- Guy LaFrance
1958-59 -- Bill Steenson
1957-58 -- Jim Ridley, Ed Willems
1956-57 -- Bill Reichart, Mike Castellano
1955-56 -- None
1954-55 -- None
1953-54 -- None
1952-53 -- Ken Johannson
1951-52 -- Ken Johannson
1950-51 -- Bob May, Bob Krumholz
1949-50 -- Jim Medved
1948-49 -- Bob Murray
1947-48 -- Game-by-game captains
1946-47 -- None
Bold denotes NCAA national champion teams