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Steelheads forward A.J. White (18) flies toward the goal during a game in 2019 at CenturyLink Arena.

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The Idaho Steelheads’ first player under contract for the 2021-22 season is a big one: the captain.

The team announced Monday that forward A.J. White, the team’s captain since 2018, will be back for a fourth season in Boise.

The Steelheads didn’t play last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m extremely excited,” White said in a release. “It’s just a refreshing new start with not being able to play last year. I’ve got those exciting nerves that I haven’t gotten recently.

“Opening night going to be a lot of fun, especially since there haven’t been full fans at events recently in Boise, and the crowd is going to be electric. There’s going to be a lot of chills just like your first pro game all over again.”

The 29-year-old White played last season with the Utah Grizzles with the Steelheads not playing. He had 15 goals and 25 assists in 60 games.

White previously had 41 points — 15 goals and 26 assists — in 61 games with the Steelheads during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season.

He’s missed just two games in his three seasons with the Steelheads and is three games shy of breaking into the Top 10 for career games with the club during the ECHL era.

In 203 career games with the Steelhead the 6-foot-2 White has 41 goals and 85 assists. He has six power play goals and 34 penalty minutes.

“Bringing our captain back to Boise is a great step in building towards the season,” coach Everett Sheen said in a release. “A.J. embodies everything about being a Steelheads player, and we are excited to have him back for another season in Boise.”

The Steelheads said future announcements on player signings will be announced throughout the summer.

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