Evan Herman has done a little bit of everything so far in his rookie campaign for the Prince Albert Raiders.
The 17-year-old forward from The Pas, Man. has recorded 12 points in 22 games to sit seventh in team scoring and has also dropped the mitts a couple of times this month.
“I feel like my overall game and what I can bring to a team has evolved a bit over the last few years,” Herman said.
“The coaches here want me to play a role where I’m hard to play against. It feels good to contribute to the team and help them out any way that I can.”
Heading into Friday’s contest with the Swift Current Broncos, which gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre, Herman has recorded points in seven of his last 10 games.
He had a pair of assists against the Regina Pats on Nov. 16 and followed that up with a goal and two helpers on Nov. 20 in a road game with the Red Deer Rebels.
“It took some time to adjust to the pace but I feel like I’m going in the right direction here lately,” Herman said.
“I’ve had some good luck on the power play, especially with ‘Guhls’ (defenceman Kaiden Guhle) being red-hot here lately, but I’m just looking to keeping on building some consistency as we move forward.”
Herman, who was a third round pick by the Raiders in the 2017 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, spent the majority of the 2018-19 campaign with the Rink Hockey Academy and had 26 points in 30 games for the Winnipeg based prep program.
He also had seven points in seven games for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s OCN Blizzard and made three appearances with the Raiders after he signed with the club in February.
“I feel like each level has been a stepping stone for me,” Herman said. “Each league is higher than where I have been before and they’ve all been huge for me as I make the jump to that next level.”
Herman is one of eight rookies on this year’s Raiders roster, where’s he joined by other WHL newcomers Michael Horon, Ilya Usau, Cole Nagy, Tyson Laventure, Nolan Allan, Landon Kosior and Carter Serhyenko.
“The veteran leadership in the locker room has been huge for all of us since we got here,” Herman said. “Whenever we have a question, the guys are there to help us.
“Having those guys back from last year’s championship team has been the key to our great start. Now that we are gelling together more, we’re looking to get better from here.”
Following Friday’s contest, the 16-5-3-1 Raiders and the 6-13-1-2 Broncos will square off again Saturday night at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex.
After that game, Raiders forwards Aliaksei Protas and Usau will head off to Minsk, Belarus to try and earn a spot on Belarus’ Under-20 team for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Division I championship.
The tournament, which runs from Dec. 9-15 in Minsk, will see one nation earn a spot at the 2021 World Juniors in Edmonton and Red Deer.
This weekend’s home-and-home series will mark the first two meetings of the season between the provincial foes.
The Raiders won seven out of eight meetings with the Broncos last year, with their lone setback coming in a 3-2 shootout in Swift Current on Dec. 4, 2018.
Following a 6-4 home win over the Red Deer Rebels on Tuesday, which saw former Raiders forward Cohner Saleski score his first career WHL goal, the Broncos improved their record to 6-13-1-2 but remain in last place in the Central Division.
The Broncos are currently going through some injury woes as Jake Kustra, Kasper Puutio, Jordan Borysiuk, Tyler Smithies and Garrett Sambrook did not dress for the game.
Prince Albert product Ethan Regnier leads the team in scoring with 11 points in 19 games, while local Prince Albert Mintos alumni Alex Moar has seven points in 22 games thus far in his sophomore campaign on the Broncos blueline.
Around the WHL
The 2020 Memorial Cup host Kelowna Rockets made their first big move of the regular season on Sunday as they acquired overage forward Jadon Joseph from the Moose Jaw Warriors for 20-year-old forward Kobe Mohr, 18-year-old forward Kyle Crosbie, the rights to 19-year-old netminder James Porter Jr. and a third round pick in the 2022 WHL Bantam Draft.
Joseph, who was dealt to the Warriors by the Vancouver Giants prior to the start of the campaign, has 13 points in 21 games this season.
Mohr has seven points in 15 games for the Kamloops Blazers and the Rockets, in addition to putting up 11 points in an eight game stint with the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons.
Crosbie had 14 points in 76 games for the Rockets, while Porter Jr. is currently playing for the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers after spending the last two seasons in Kelowna.
Meanwhile, Warriors forward Brayden Tracey signed an entry-level contract with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
Tracey, who was the 29th overall pick in June’s NHL Draft, has 22 points in 13 games thus far in his sophomore campaign in Moose Jaw and currently has the best point per game average in the WHL with a 1.69 mark.
- Everett 4 Spokane 0 (Michal Gut – One Goal and Two Assists – Dustin Wolf – 26 Saves – Fourth Shutout This Season and 15th Career)
- Kamloops 5 Edmonton 3 (Josh Pillar – Three Assists)
- Lethbridge 4 Regina 1 (Dylan Cozens – One Goal and Two Assists)
- Victoria 4 Seattle 2 (Mitchell Prowse – Three Assists)
- Saskatoon 2 Tri-City 1 (Nolan Maier – 34 Saves)
- Edmonton 1 Kelowna 0 (Dylan Guenther Shootout Winner – Sebastian Cossa – 21 Saves – Second Career Shutout)
- Swift Current 6 Red Deer 4 (Isaac Poulter – 54 Saves)
- Everett 4 Tri-City 3 (Bryce Kindopp Overtime Winner – Two Goals and Two Assists)
- Portland 8 Saskatoon 0 (Mason Mannek – One Goal and Three Assists – Joel Hofer – 22 Saves – Second Shutout This Season and Sixth Career)
- Medicine Hat vs. Moose Jaw – 7 p.m.
- Swift Current vs. Prince Albert – 7 p.m.
- Winnipeg vs. Brandon – 7:30 p.m.
- Regina vs. Calgary – 8 p.m.
- Saskatoon vs. Lethbridge – 8 p.m.
- Portland vs. Kamloops – 9 p.m.
- Vancouver vs. Spokane – 9 p.m.
- Victoria vs. Tri-City – 9 p.m.