Raiders add to forward core

Photo Courtesy of the Prince Albert Raiders Prince Albert Raiders general manager Curtis Hunt poses with forward Ilya Usau after he signed a WHL standard player agreement with the team Thursday.

Three days after signing Russian forward Ivan Kechkin to a Western Hockey League standard player agreement, the Prince Albert Raiders have come to terms with another player ahead of the team’s training camp.

The defending Ed Chynoweth Cup champions brought another forward into the fold Thursday afternoon as they inked 18-year-old forward Ilya Usau.

“Ilya was a walk-on along with 2001 draft class at our training camp three years ago,” general manager Curtis Hunt said in a statement.

“He’s a player we’ve been pursuing to join our program. Ilya has extensive international experience and we’re excited to bring him into our group.”

Usau, who was born in Minsk, Belarus but calls Denver, Colo. home, spent the last two years with the Salisbury School prep program in Connecticut and had 33 points in 56 games.

He had been committed to the NCAA’s UConn Huskies and was also a draft pick of the now defunct Central Illinois Flying Aces of the USHL in 2017.

Usau has also had the chance to represent Belarus at the last two World Under-18 Hockey Challenge.

He had two goals at the 2018 tournament, where he was a teammate with current Raiders forward and Washington Capitals prospect Aliaksei Protas, and had three assists last spring.

Raiders fans will get a chance to see Usau in action Friday as he’ll take to the ice for an 8 p.m. scrimmage at the Art Hauser Centre.