Aquilon having career season on Raiders blueline

Photo Courtesy of Keith Hershmiller/WHL Regina Pats forward Drew Englot, left, and Prince Albert Raiders blueliner Remy Aquilon battle for position during a game at the Brandt Centre last month.

Remy Aquilon has been more known for his defensive play since the Victoria Royals signed him as an undrafted player in August 2017.

This year has been different though for the 20-year-old from Kelowna, B.C. as he’s tied for fourth in scoring on the Prince Albert Raiders and leads all blueliners on the team with seven points in 13 games heading into a Thursday night matchup with the Saskatoon Blades.

“I think it’s just sort of happened that way,” said Aquilon, who had six points in 64 games last year for the Raiders after he was acquired from the Royals in a pre-season trade. “Obviously you want to get points but I wasn’t worried about that. My main goal was to have a good year and to set things up for next season.

“Everything’s just bouncing my way at the moment. It’s nice to have those points but that’s not something I’m striving for or something I’m to force when I’m in the offensive one. My focus is on playing well at both ends of the ice.”

After playing on the third pair of the Raiders blueline during the 2019-20 campaign, Aquilon moved up to the top defensive unit this year and became the leader on the backend after Montreal Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle was sidelined with an injury after just two games.

“It’s a big jump but he earned the position on the blueline before Guhle went down,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “He’s played well since we came into the bubble and you can see that he has a confident presence around him this year.”

“I was a little laid back last year and not playing aggressively,” Aquilon added. “I wanted to have an extra jump to my game this year and I’m moving my feet a lot more.”

While the Raiders have had to deal with injuries throughout their time in the bubble, it has allowed their younger players to move into bigger roles, which is something that Aquilon thinks will help the group going forward.

“They’ve really stepped up and they are really quick learners,” Aquilon said. “They’ve all put in a lot of work in the off-season and I think that shows with the roles that they’ve had already.

“Our new guys on defence have jumped right in and played a lot of minutes and our younger guys at forward are already playing key roles on the power play and on the penalty kill.”

As one of the older faces on the team, Aquilon is able to use some of the things that he learned during the 2018 playoffs with the Royals to help the younger players.

“I didn’t realize how different the regular season was compared to the playoffs,” said Aquilon, who suited up in 10 playoff games for the Royals after spending the majority of the year with the Okanagan Rockets Under-18 program. “I felt so young compared to the rest of the team but that experience really helped me get dialed in and prepared for my rookie season.

“One of the guys that really helped me out a lot was Chaz Reddekopp. He was someone who made sure that no one got away with anything around the net and he wasn’t going to let anyone push him around.”

As the Raiders move into the second half of their time in the bubble, Aquilon is looking forward to what he expects will be spirited affairs with the rest of the East Division.

“In those first couple of games I think everyone was trying to get a feel for one another, especially with our opponents as we didn’t have any video on the new guys,” Aquilon said.

“Now that everyone has a feel for one another, the intensity has really been picki

Remy Aquilon has been more known for his defensive play since the Victoria Royals signed him as an undrafted player in August 2017.

This year has been different though for the 20-year-old from Kelowna, B.C. as he’s tied for fourth in scoring on the Prince Albert Raiders and leads all blueliners on the team with seven points in 13 games heading into a Thursday night matchup with the Saskatoon Blades.

“I think it’s just sort of happened that way,” said Aquilon, who had six points in 64 games last year for the Raiders after he was acquired from the Royals in a pre-season trade. “Obviously you want to get points but I wasn’t worried about that. My main goal was to have a good year and to set things up for next season.

“Everything’s just bouncing my way at the moment. It’s nice to have those points but that’s not something I’m striving for or something I’m to force when I’m in the offensive one. My focus is on playing well at both ends of the ice.”

After playing on the third pair of the Raiders blueline during the 2019-20 campaign, Aquilon moved up to the top defensive unit this year and became the leader on the backend after Montreal Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle was sidelined with an injury after just two games.

“It’s a big jump but he earned the position on the blueline before Guhle went down,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “He’s played since we came into the bubble and you can see that he has a confident presence around him this year.”

“I was a little laid back last year and not playing aggressively,” Aquilon added. “I wanted to have an extra jump to my game this year and I’m moving my feet a lot more.”

While the Raiders have had to deal with injuries throughout their time in the bubble, it has allowed their younger players to move into bigger roles, which is something that Aquilon thinks will help the group going forward.

“They’ve really stepped up and they are really quick learners,” Aquilon said. “They’ve all put in a lot of work in the off-season and I think that shows with the roles that they’ve had already.

“Our new guys on defence have jumped right in and played a lot of minutes and our younger guys at forward are already playing key roles on the power play and on the penalty kill.”

As one of the older faces on the team, Aquilon is able to use some of the things that he learned during the 2018 playoffs with the Royals to help the younger players.

“I didn’t realize how different the regular season was compared to the playoffs,” said Aquilon, who suited up in 10 playoff games for the Royals after spending the majority of the year with the Okanagan Rockets Under-18 program. “I felt so young compared to the rest of the team but that experience really helped me get dialed in and prepared for my rookie season.

“One of the guys that really helped me out a lot was Chaz Reddekopp. He was someone who made sure that no one got away with anything around the net and he wasn’t going to let anyone push him around.”

As the Raiders move into the second half of their time in the bubble, Aquilon is looking forward to what he expects will be spirited affairs with the rest of the East Division.

“In those first couple of games I think everyone was trying to get a feel for one another, especially with our opponents as we didn’t have any video on the new guys,” Aquilon said.

“Now that everyone has a feel for one another, the intensity has really been picking up. The games are getting faster and it’s a lot of fun to be in as a player.”

ng up. The games are getting faster and it’s a lot of fun to be in as a player.”

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