Raiders begin handing out year-end awards

Photo Courtesy of Keith Hershmiller/WHL Saskatoon Blades forward Blake Stevenson battles for position with Ozzy Wiesblatt of the Prince Albert Raiders during the bubble season in Regina.

The Prince Albert Raiders are officially putting a bow on their 2020-21 campaign as the club has started to announce their year-end awards, which will be presented virtually for the second straight season.

Their first two award winners were announced on Monday, with more recipients being revealed in the coming days.

San Jose Sharks prospect Ozzy Wiesblatt received the Dave Balon Leading Scorer Award after posting 28 points in 23 games.

The 19-year-old from Calgary has also posted three points in six games this year with the American Hockey League’s San Jose Barracuda.

Photo Courtesy of Keith Hershmiller/WHL Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Max Paddock makes one of his 28 saves during the 2020-21 season opener against the Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre.

Overage netminder Max Paddock was the recipient of the Three Stars Award, which is determined by the three star selections that are announced after all Raiders games.

Paddock is the first goaltender to earn the award since Ian Scott during the 2017-18 campaign.

Wiesblatt and overage forward Justin Nachbaur were close behind Paddock in the three star totals.

Around the WHL

The Red Deer Rebels were busy on Monday as they made a pair of trades.

Their first deal saw them move 19-year-old blueliner Mason Ward to the Brandon Wheat Kings in exchange for 19-year-old netminder Connor Ungar.

Ward had six points in 22 games for the Rebels this past season, while Ungar had a 5-2-1 record with a 2.87 goals against average and a .904 save percentage for the Wheat Kings.

The Rebels would then deal 19-year-old forward Jaxsen Wiebe to the Edmonton Oil Kings for 20-year-old forward Liam Keeler.

Wiebe had three points in 21 games for the Rebels this year, while Keeler had 12 points in 19 contests for the Oil Kings.

As a result of Monday’s trade, the Rebels now have three overage forwards (Keller, Arshdeep Bains and Zak Smith) and an overage netminder (Byron Fancy) on their roster for next season.

With the departure of Keller, the Oil Kings 20-year-old situation now consists of forwards Josh Williams and Carter Souch.

Blueliner Matthew Robertson could also return to the team next fall, but he’s expected to start his pro career in the New York Rangers system.