Raider prospects Moroz, Derkatch soaking up experience in SMAAAHL playoffs

Photo by Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Raider prospect Luke Moroz of the Regina Pat Canadians during SMAAAHL playoff action at the Art Hauser Centre on Sunday, Mar. 5, 2023.

They may have be the villains to the Prince Albert faithful during the current playoff series between the Prince Albert Mintos and Regina Pat Canadians, but Luke Moroz and Dayce Derkatch are excited for a future ahead of them in Hockeytown North.

Both Moroz and Derkatch were selected in the 2022 WHL Prospects draft by the Prince Albert Raiders. Moroz was the Raider first round pick going 15th overall while Derkatch was selected with the second of two third round picks going 64th overall.

In Game 2 of the best of five series between the Pat Canadians and Mintos, Regina walked away with a 4-3 victory in front of a spirited Prince Albert crowd.

Moroz says playing in that environment will help in his goal to become a regular in the Western Hockey League.

“It’ll definitely help me with my compete level and ability to play in big games like this. It’s huge. I can’t wait and hopefully I can build some friendships and not become enemies like I am right now.”

In 40 games during the regular season, Moroz posted 47 points for the Pat Canadians with 16 goals and 31 assists.

At the time of publishing, Moroz has posted four points in just two playoff games against the Mintos with two goals and an assist in Regina’s Game 1 victory and a lone assist in Game 2.

Fellow Raider prospect Dayce Derkatch posted 13 points across 38 games for the Pat Canadians this season.

Following the Pat Canadians victory in Game 2, Derkatch says he enjoyed playing in front of the Prince Albert faithful.

“It’s tough. They’re loud. I love this rink, though. Some great memories here, especially coming to camp and playing some pre-season here. It’s a great rink, and the fans, they got to try and get us off our game, and we didn’t let them tonight.”

Derkatch adds the playoff experience will give him a taste of what it will take to break into the WHL.

“It’s a whole different game in playoffs. It’s a whole different intensity. Everyone’s got to be their best at every shift. In the Western Hockey League, you got to be your best every shift or else you’re not going to play.”

Results from Tuesday night’s playoff game between the Pat Canadians and Mintos were not available as of press time.