‘Kids’ line providing vision of future for Prince Albert Raiders

Herald File Photo. Prince Albert Raiders forward Ryder Ritchie attempts a shot during WHL action against the Winnipeg ICE at the Art Hauser Centre

If you turn the clock back to the beginning of the 2021-2022 season, few in Prince Albert new the names Cole Peardon, Ryder Ritchie, and Brayden Dube.

Now, all three players have found a home on the Prince Albert Raiders’ ‘kids line’ after being acquired by Raiders GM Curtis Hunt in the last 12 months.

Forwards Peardon and Ritchie, both 16, were both drafted in the firstround of the 2021 WHL Prospects draft. Peardon was selected 13th overall while Ritchie was taken one pick later at 14th overall. The pick used to select Peardon was acquired by the Raiders in the blockbuster trade that sent Kaiden Guhle to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Fast forward 11 months later, and the trio of young players would be complete as Brayden Dube was acquired by the Raiders in a blockbuster trade that sent Nolan Allan to the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Dube was originally selected in the second round of the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft by Seattle.

The trio have often been paired together on the Raider third line since the Allan trade by head coach Jeff Truitt.

Truitt says the group has found some chemistry early in their WHL careers.

“I think Peardon, him (Dube) and Ritchie have really found some chemistry with their skill and their speed. I feel like they compliment each other very well. They are having lots of positive shifts and reading off each other better and better. He certainly helps that line with his skill set and how he handles the puck. That kid line is pretty good right now.”

Ryder Ritchie says he enjoys playing alongside Dube and Peardon.

“It’s been good, I really like playing with them. They are both skilled players who move pucks well and they both put the puck in the net, so it’s been really fun playing with them.”

If you take a look back at the 2016-2017 edition of the Prince Albert Raiders, many pieces who were a part of the team’s championship core were already in place including Spencer Moe, Parker Kelly, Cole Fonstad, Ian Scott, Brayden Pachal and Zach Hayes.

Ritchie says he is excited to develop alongside Peardon and Dube and is hopeful they may replicate the level of success of the 2016-2017 Raiders core.

“It’s going to be fun to grow with them. We got a lot of time. I think we want to get better every year and build off every game and then hopefully we can keep moving up and maybe win a championship together.”

Off the ice, the trio can often be found together hanging out being the typical, average teenagers. Ritchie says spending time together off the ice has helped their chemistry.

“Since Brayden has been here, we hang out a lot. Our billet families are close. And Cole lives right by me, so we’re always hanging out. We’re always at school together or playing ping-pong after practice. So, I feel like we’ve built good chemistry as a line.”

Dube, the most recent addition of the trio, says his line mates possess similar skillsets to himself.

“We’re all young, we’re all learning. We all got good skill and we are pretty fast. We use our speed and skill and it’s been working so far.”

Dube adds having players with a similar skillset have helped him in the transition from Seattle.

“It’s been really nice. They’ve helped me to get into the game and taught me the new systems here in PA and it’s been really good with them.”

The Raiders will hope to return to the win column on Wednesday night when they welcome the Medicine Hat Tigers to the Art Hauser Centre. Prince Albert has won all three matchups with Medicine Hat this season. Puck drops at 7pm.