Paddock named Raiders most valuable player

Photo Courtesy of Keith Hershmiller/WHL Prince Albert Raiders netminder Max Paddock turns aside Swift Current Broncos forward Michael Farren on a penalty shot at the Brandt Centre.

Aquilon receives most valuable defenceman honour

Although he only suited up in 34 games for the Prince Albert Raiders, netminder Max Paddock was one of the top performers for the club after he was acquired from the Regina Pats in January 2020.

The 20-year-old from Brandon, Man. earned the team’s highest individual accolade on Friday afternoon as he was the recipient of the Orland Kurtenbach Award for most valuable player as part of the Raiders’ year-end virtual awards ceremony.

“I’m honoured to accept this award,” Paddock said in a video that was posted on the team’s website. “On the Raiders, each guy is as valuable as the next and I want to thank my teammates for pushing me to be the best version of myself every day.

“The memories that I made in the bubble will last with me for a lifetime and I look forward to watching the returning guys battle hard next year like the Raiders do.”

Paddock, who is the first goaltender to be named the team’s most valuable player since Ian Scott in 2019, had a 7-6-1-0 record with a 2.87 goals against average, a .903 save percentage and two shutouts in the East Division Hub Centre in Regina.

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.

Remy Aquilon was also honoured on Friday as he received the Jim Neilson Award for most valuable defenceman.

“Lots of great defencemen have won this award and it’s pretty cool to have my name in the conversation with them,” Aquilon said.

“One thing that I learned this season is that nothing is given to you. You have to work or everything, whether that’s in life or in hockey.”

The 20-year-old from Kelowna, B.C. enjoyed a career year during the shortened campaign as he had 16 points in 24 games and became the top blueliner on the squad after Kaiden Guhle suffered a hand injury early on in the hub.

Around the WHL

The Everett Silvertips have made a major change in their hockey operations department as they announced on Thursday evening that general manager Garry Davidson’s contract was not being renewed and that he was leaving the club.

“Thank you to Garry for his contribution to our franchise over the past 9 years”, Silvertips President & COO Zoran Rajcic said in a prepared statement.  “Garry has been a significant contributor to our franchise, and the business and on-ice success of the Everett Silvertips is directly attributable to his efforts.”

The club also said in a press release that the past two seasons have “have necessitated the restructuring of Silvertips hockey operations, and this process is ongoing.”

The 70-year-old Davidson became the Silvertips general manager in February 2012 after four seasons as the director of player personnel for the Portland Winterhawks.

During his tenure, the Silvertips won five U.S. Division titles and reached the Western Hockey League final in 2018, where they lost in six games to the Swift Current Broncos.