Nipawin’s Woodward looking forward to playing in Prince Albert

Oilers Entertainment Group / LA Media. Nipawin product Roan Woodward has been a key cog for the Edmonton Oil Kings this season. The Oil Kings visit Prince Albert to take on the Raiders on Friday.

For Nipawin’s Roan Woodward, playing at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert is about as close to a hometown game as he will get in the WHL.

Woodward and the Edmonton Oil Kings will be in Hockeytown North on Friday night for a tilt with the Prince Albert Raiders.

“It’s kind of considered my hometown game.” Woodward said in a phone interview. “When the guys do the snaps before the game and stuff, that’ll be my hometown game. I think I got probably 20 plus people coming to watch me. That’ll be pretty exciting playing in front of everybody. It’s hard for some people to get out and stuff, just with winter and the weather, so hopefully everybody can make it.”

Woodward began his WHL career with the Everett Silvertips, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft 87th overall. In parts of three seasons for Everett, Woodward played in 113 games, recording 7 goals and 16 assists.

The 18-year-old found himself on the move on October 10, as he was dealt to the Oil Kings in exchange for a 5th round draft selection in 2026.

Since he has arrived in Edmonton, Woodward has broken out in a big way with the Oil Kings. In 51 games since the trade, he has recorded 15 goals and 26 assists for 36 points.

Woodward credits his success to how smooth the transition was from Everett to Edmonton, with the Oil Kings being a big help.

“Edmonton made the transition pretty easy. The great atmosphere, great rink and all the things they have available to make yourself better like the workout facility and the extra ice with the practice rink being there with Rogers Place as well. For a transition, if you get traded here and they all made it pretty easy.”

When asked about the difference between the two conferences, Woodward says he has noticed some minor changes but nothing seismic.

“I think there’s always that talk between which conference is harder and whatnot. But I think there’s not a huge difference between that. I think in the U .S. division and stuff, there might be a little bit more contact and a little bit more grit. Over here, I would say it’s maybe a little bit more faster paced, a little bit more (of a) skill game. It’s kind of hard to tell the difference between the two.”

Friday’s game is the fourth and final regular season meeting between the Raiders and Oil Kings this season. The Oil Kings won two of the first three, including a 3-0 win that last time the two teams met in Prince Albert on Oct. 3.

Puck drops between the Oil Kings and Raiders at 7 p.m. on Friday night at the Art Hauser Centre.