Raider alum Kosior, Sorensen taking advantage of WHL Scholarship program with U of S Huskies

Herald File Photos Raider alumni Landon Kosior (and Keaton Sorensen) are playing for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

When the Prince Albert Raiders took on the Moose Jaw Warriors at the Art Hauser Centre last Friday, there were a couple of familiar faces in the stands watching.

Landon Kosior and Keaton Sorensen were 20-year-olds with the Raiders last season, but now they are both in Saskatoon on a full-time basis continuing their education at the University of Saskatchewan while taking to the ice with the Huskies men’s hockey program.

Keaton Sorensen enjoyed a career year as a 20-year-old in the WHL with the Raiders last season, posting 53 points in 64 games. He was originally acquired by the Raiders on Aug. 17, 2021, in exchange for a conditional ninth round selection in 2022 (Red Deer selected Cole Connolly with the selection). In 205 career WHL games, Sorenson posted 44 goals and 53 assists.

Sorensen says he enjoyed returning to the Art Hauser Centre as a fan to see some familiar faces.

“It’s awesome to get to see all the old boys. It brings back a lot of memories of my time here and how I enjoyed it. It’s a lot different sitting up in the stands, but it was awesome to see all the guys again.”

Sorensen is pursuing an undergraduate degree in business at USask while also suiting up for the Huskies. In 13 games this season, Sorensen has posted one goal and two assists along with eight penalty minutes.

“It’s almost just like restarting the western league.” Sorensen said about playing in Canada West. “There’s a lot of players that we played against when they were players who were 20 or 19 when I was just entering the WHL. It’s almost like just restarting that, just flipping it around again after finishing the WHL, after aging out, and then all them are back in that league.”

For Landon Kosior, it wasn’t a linear road to USPORTS. He played 19 games this season with the Iowa Heartlanders of the ECHL to start the season posting two goals and 11 assists in that timeframe.

Kosior was not selected in the WHL Prospects Draft and was listed by Prince Albert prior to the 2019-20 season. In 213 career games, all as a Prince Albert Raider, Kosior posted 44 goals and 91 assists.

Although he was seeing success in the pro ranks, Kosior says he chose to return to school because he can always pursue pro hockey after he receives his education.

“I just thought be a great time to come back and use my scholarship and hopefully I can return to pro after. It’s a great option that the WHL gives us to use that scholarship, so might as well take advantage of it.”

During his time in the ECHL, Kosior says the competition was a significant jump from what he faced playing in the WHL.

“I’d say it was a big step up. You’re making your own pregame meals and you are kind of on your own. No one’s really telling you what to do, so you kind of have to be a pro. It was a big difference. I had a lot of fun there. No bad stories from there. I think I just wanted to use the advantage of my free school while I could.”

According to the WHL website, players are awarded with one year of post-secondary scholarship for every season they play in the WHL. The scholarship covers the costs of tuition, compulsory fees and required textbooks.

Players are able to utilize the scholarship within 18 months of their WHL eligibility expiring, assuming they do not sign an NHL contract.

The Raiders return to action on Friday night when they take on the Moose Jaw Warriors at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.