Torrie leadership poll

DAVID CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

The only letter that matters to Torrie Jung is "W."

The 20-year-old goaltender doesn't need to see a "C" on his Edmonton Oil Kings sweater.

There was some speculation that Jung might become junior hockey's Roberto Luongo: team captain as well as the man in the mask.

"He doesn't need a C," Brett Breitkreuz recently said about Jung. Breitkreuz, one of the three 20-year-olds on the roster along with Drew Nichol, is a likely candidate himself to be announced today as one of those who will wear letters for the Oil Kings this season.

Everybody involved knows where Jung stands with this team -- and it is more than just between the pipes.

Jung knows it, too.

"Regardless of whether I'm wearing a letter or not, I consider myself a leader on this team," he said earlier this week after returning from the Oilers' rookie camp.

"Without a C or an A, I'm still going to lead by example. I'm still going to be vocal in the dressing room."

GLARING EXAMPLES

Jung provided glaring examples as the Oil Kings' journey got deeper into the season and the unlikely playoff run became a reality.

His save totals began to click off into the 30s on a regular basis. And, though the defencemen played surprisingly well in front of him, it was an injury-depleted inexperienced blue-line corps.

But Jung, uh, saved the best for last. His 35-saver in the Kings' 2-1 overtime win in the Game 73 tiebreaker out-duelled the 42-save effort of Prince Albert's Garrett Zemlak.

And, despite the Kings' playoff debut being a four-game sweep at the hands of the top-seeded Calgary Hitmen, Jung had the powerful Hitmen lineup shaking their heads and looking to the sky. Calgary did squeeze 15 goals past him in the four games -- but it took 181 shots. And his 54-saver in the 2-1 overtime loss in Game 2 was epic.

But all that did was up the expectations for both Jung -- now widely regarded as one of the top 'tenders in the Dub; and the Oil Kings -- now unable to sneak up on the league as a potential playoff team.

Jung's OK with that.

"There's the expectations that other people put on us, but we're not really concerned.

"We're concerned about the expectations we put on ourselves.

"Last year, making the playoffs was good for us as a group. But we're not going to be satisfied with that.

"We're not going into this season looking just to make the playoffs. We need to have a good regular season and we need to have a good playoff run.

'SO BE IT'

"Those are the expectations we're putting on ourselves. If there's added pressure, so be it.

"That's the way hockey is. And we need to learn how to play under pressure anyway."

The biggest question of the off-season for the organization, was whether Jung would come back as a 20-year-old. Not because of any lack of belief in backup Cam Lanigan, but because of what Jung did last year.

Jung never scratched "returning to Edmonton" off his priority list of things-to-do-this-summer even though he wasn't signed after originally being drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"This is not a step backwards for me from a personal standpoint or from a team standpoint," Jung said.

"Obviously you're looking for a pro contract. I think that's why most guys play hockey.

"This isn't a step back or anything. I'm happy to be here."

DAVID.CAMERON@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos