During the Prince Albert Raiders' annual golf tournament at Cooke Municipal Golf Course, the team's General Manager, Curtis Hunt said there was a lot to be hopeful for this upcoming Raider season.
Hunt mused on a number of topics, including import draft pick Dominik Bokk, returning defenceman Vojtech Budik, an impressive offseason for several Raiders players and prospects, and expectations for the team’s many young returning players.
Goaltender Ian Scott had his name called at the NHL Draft in Chicago on June 24, being selected 110th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Scott entered the draft ranked third best North American goaltender following his second season with the Raiders in which he dealt with the constant scrutiny of being a top prospect.
“It’s a distraction for kids that age throughout the year. The interviews, the [CHL Top] Prospects Game, reading the paper looking at where people have you ranked,” Hunt said. “It’s a great accomplishment to get drafted and there’s lots of work ahead for [Scott], but I think now he can sit back, work, and get focused on being the goalie we all believe he can be.”
After the departure of Simon Stransky, the Raiders’ leading scorer from 2016-17, the team took German forward Dominik Bokk with the ninth overall selection in the 2017 CHL Import Draft in June. However, it is unlikely that he will be in Prince Albert to start the season.
Hunt explained the team hadn't secured his release and spoke very candidly saying it doesn't look promising.
The team’s other import slot will be filled by returning defenceman Vojtech Budik, who amassed 26 points in 56 games in his sophomore season with the Raiders in 2016-17. After being selected in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Budik is poised to take another step toward the next level.
“He’ll be here just before training camp, in good shape and looking for a contract so we’re expecting a big year out of him,” Hunt said. “It will be his third year in Prince Albert and in North America and he has a good command of the language now and certainly the culture.”
Rhett Rhinehart, the Raiders’ 13th overall pick of the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, was one of 111 players selected to Hockey Canada’s national under-17 development camp in Calgary at the end of July. Additionally, a number of Raiders players and prospects have been named or are in the selection process for their respective provincial teams.
Looking to build on a strong finish from last year and push their way into the playoffs this season, the Raiders will be looking for growth from within to lift the team. Although expectations for developing players should be tempered, the team boasts a stable of youngsters that could make a big impact on the team after another offseason of training.
“We think guys like [Cole] Fonstad will take a step, he was a young player last year. [Carson] Miller left for surgery and we’re looking forward to a healthy Miller throughout the year," Hunt said. "There’s room to be optimistic. That being said you’ve got to play the games and we’ll let camp sort it out how guys fit into the depth of our lineup.”
Parenteau Off to School
Former Raider goaltender Rylan Parenteau announced on twitter Thursday that he will continue his hockey career at the University of New Brunswick this fall. Parenteau was drafted by the Raiders in the 2011 bantam draft and went on to mind the net for two full seasons. He earned a nod to the WHL East Division Second All-Star Team in 2015-16, the same year he was also named the WHL’s Most Hardworking Player. Parenteau was traded to the Tri-City Americans last October in exchange for goaltender Nicholas Sanders and a third round pick.
— Rylan Parenteau (@RylanParenteau) August 17, 2017
Green and White Game Announced
The Raiders will conclude training camp with the annual Green and White Scrimmage on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. Admission for the game will either be a non-perishable food item or a $2 donation at the door.
On Twitter: @nedderrovert
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