Raiders hand out annual awards

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Max Hildebrand (center) was named the Prince Albert Raiders Most Valuable Player.

The Prince Albert Raiders handed out some hardware on Sunday night as the team hosted their annual awards banquet at the Ches Leach Lounge.

The evening consisted of a banquet dinner followed by a program of awards, with speeches from general manager Curtis Hunt, head coach Jeff Truitt and captain Eric Johnston.

“I thank you guys an awful lot for the adventure and the ride. It has been a year, it has been an awesome year.” Truitt said during his speech. “We came into training camp this year, and you can probably ask most of the returning guys that I stood here last year and wanted a better start. A year ago, we were 2-6-2. We started off 6-4. Our guys took it to heart that we want to get off to a real good start for our club. That was the determination of their offseason and their focus coming into training camp, and you could definitely see it when we hit the ice right in training camp, exhibition and rolling on from there.”

The Raiders were in the playoff hunt all season long, clinching a spot in the playoffs during the last weekend of the regular season.

Truitt credited the support of the fans in Prince Albert for the team’s success down the stretch to get into the playoffs.

“The fans have been supportive, they’ve been tremendous. The other night with 3,000 people in here, it brought back that 2019 feeling when we won the championship. The way that the place was loud, it was rocking, and the enthusiasm. Our fans have always been great, there’s a different level when there’s 3 ,000 people in here, and we certainly hope that that continues.”

13 separate awards were handed out by the Raiders throughout the evening. During his speech, general manager Curtis Hunt says there was no easy decision made

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Raider general manager Curtis Hunt speaks during the team’s annual awards banquet.

“These always are arguments in back. You can ask our staff or coaches as we go through our players. It’s always tough and that tends to go back to the competitiveness of our players, their willingness and want and desire to get better every day when they come to practice. I think it’s important for everybody to know that it takes a team. In our environment nobody has individual success without the support and care and love of the team mate. Our number one goal every year is to become a team.”

Full List of Award Winners

Scholastic Player of the Year: Doogan Pederson

Best Conditioned Raider: Krzysztof Macias

Hardest Working Player: Harrison Lodewyk

Best Defensive Forward: Aiden Oiring

Most Improved Player: Niall Crocker

Most Valuable Defenceman: Justice Christensen and Terrell Goldsmith

Three Stars Award: Krzysztof Macias, Max Hildebrand and Sloan Stanick

Players Choice Award: Eric Johnston

Rookie of the Year: Oli Chenier

Humanitarian of the Year: Justice Christensen

Leading Scorer: Sloan Stanick

Fan’s Choice Award: Aiden Oiring

Most Valuable Player: Max Hildebrand

The Raiders will kick off their first round playoff series on Thursday night in Saskatoon. Puck drops at 7 p.m.