The last few days have been a bit of a blur for Prince Albert Raiders forward prospect Evan Herman.
After signing his Western Hockey League standard player agreement on Tuesday, the 16-year-old from Winnipeg made his regular season debut for the team Wednesday in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Lethbridge Hurricanes at the Art Hauser Centre.
“There’s obviously some nerves when you are getting ready for the game, but that’s something you have to work through when you have the warm-up and everything else before the game starts,” Herman said.
“The first WHL game was what I expected it to be like. The pace was fast, there were some big bodies out there and we all had some tough battles. Obviously it wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Herman, who was a third round pick by the Raiders in the third round of the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, was put on a line with Spencer Moe and Jakob Brook, who is someone that he had played with from 2016-18 with the Rink Hockey Academy program in Winnipeg.
“I felt a lot more comfortable with having someone I know playing alongside me,” Herman said. “Spencer and Jakob really helped me out a lot tonight and they made my job a whole lot easier.”
“I thought Evan played well and he was smart out there,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “He wasn’t intimated out there and you can see the speed that he brings.”
Herman has recorded 26 points in 30 games this season with the Rink Hockey Academy’s prep team and also had seven points in seven games for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s OCN Blizzard.
“I think the biggest improvement in my game this year has been how I’ve used my speed more to create offence,” Herman said.
“I’m always looking for ways to make plays and I’ve also tried to use my teammates more in getting those chances for our team.”
Herman’s next major event will be later this month in Penticton, B.C., as the Rink Hockey Academy prep team will complete in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League championship.