Two notable Prince Albert Raiders veterans will be absent for this year’s training camp in defenceman Max Martin and goaltender Nicholas Sanders due to injury.
Although Raiders general manager Curtis Hunt did not want to publically talk about the nature of the ailments, he did previously tell paNOW.com on March 22 that Sanders required hip surgery. Martin is recovering from an upper body injury.
“We’ve got them competing on the side. They’re close, but at this point in time, it doesn’t make any sense [to play them],” Hunt said. “It gives us the opportunity to look at somebody else.”
Both were big contributors to the Raiders last season after arriving in Prince Albert in separate trades. Sanders appeared in 34 games with an 0.892 save percentage and 8-12-2-2 record in goal after coming over from the Tri-City Americans in the Rylan Parenteau deal in October.
Martin quarterbacked the power play from the blue line, scoring five goals and 26 points in 50 games for the Raiders.
Nick Heid, 20-year-old defenceman, was released by the Raiders in the offseason and is not at camp either.
A couple of other Raiders nursing notable injuries were overage centre Jordy Stallard and sophomore winger Carson Miller, both having their seasons cut short for shoulder surgeries. Stallard’s season was cut short after the Jan. 22 contest against his former Calgary Hitmen squad, while Miller was shutdown at the beginning of February.
Former first round pick Carson Miller’s 16-year-old season ended when he underwent shoulder surgery as well at the beginning of February.
Both Stallard and Miller played in the first veteran scrimmage on Thursday, with Miller scoring twice for Team Orange in their 5-4 win over Stallard’s Team Blue.
Late start to a short camp
By starting on Aug. 30, this is the latest in the year the Raiders have started their training camp in the last 10 years. In fact, the Moose Jaw Warriors and Swift Current Broncos already played a preseason game before the Raiders had even started their camp.
This year’s Raider camp is also tied for their shortest in that time with just four days of ice sessions. They also just have four squads playing, or 71 total players.
Hunt said both of those were by design, to prevent wearing out players and diluting the talent pool.
“If you have too many kids, you can cloud it a little bit and you get players that don’t have a chance. We made sure that everybody that came and everybody that was invited had a chance,” Raiders general manager Curtis Hunt said. “By keeping it smaller, you get more reps.”
There will be a total of five skates on Friday to start the month of September. The first is a rookie scrimmage at 9 a.m., followed by the veterans at 10:30 a.m. The rookies and vets will then be combined into teams and will have three afternoon skates at 4:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
There will be three skates on Saturday before the annual Green and White Intrasquad Game at 7 p.m.
On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW
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