Raiders sign Chayka

Photo Courtesy of Hockey Belarus Tikhon Chayka, who signed with the Prince Albert Raiders on Thursday, represented Belarus at the 2021 World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Texas this spring.

Belarusian netminder Tikhon Chayka is officially a member of the Prince Albert Raiders.

The Western Hockey League club announced on Thursday morning that the 17-year-old, who they selected with the 53rd overall pick in last month’s Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, had signed a standard player agreement.

Chayka suited up in 29 games last season for the Team Belarus Under-18 program, where he had a 3.60 goals against average and an .870 save percentage.

The Minsk product, who is eligible to be selected in this month’s NHL Draft, also posted a 2-1 record, a 2.67 goals against average and a .911 save percentage for his country at the 2021 IIHF World Under-18’s in Texas this spring.

He was joined on the team by forward Uladzislau Shyla, who was picked by the Raiders last year and is expected to come to Prince Albert this fall.

Chayka, who is the first goaltender ever to be selected by the team in the Import Draft, joins returning netminder Carter Serhyenko and prospect Max Hildebrand as signed netminders on the Raiders roster.

As of Thursday morning, three players from the 2021 CHL Import Draft have inked deals with WHL clubs.

In addition to Chayka, Italian forward Alessandro Segafredo and English blueliner Leon Okonkwo Prada inked deals with the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday.

Around the WHL

The Brandon Wheat Kings have a vacancy on their bench for the upcoming season as assistant coach Todd Miller has joined the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals to become their bench boss.

Prior to his arrival in Brandon last season, Miller had spent 10 years as a member of the Barrie Colts’ coaching staff.

The Wheat Kings also made a trade this week as they dealt overage blueliner Rylan Thiessen to the Swift Current Broncos for a conditional ninth round pick in this December’s WHL Prospects Draft.

Thiessen, who is from Brandon, has posted 13 points in 56 games over the last three years with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Wheat Kings.

Off the ice, the Winnipeg Ice are looking for a new play-by-play voice as Mitch Peacock has elected to pursue other career opportunities after two seasons with the club.

The Ice join the Prince Albert Raiders and Regina Pats in teams that are currently looking to fill their open announcer positions.

Under-18 Summer Camp

Although Canada won’t be sending a team to this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the top Under-18 talent in the country will be at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on the Tsuut’ina Nation near Calgary from July 25 to Aug. 4 for Hockey Canada’s summer development camp.

There are no members of the Prince Albert Raiders among the 45 players that have been invited to the camp, but the province of Saskatchewan will be represented by Seattle Thunderbirds blueliner Kevin Korchinski and Lethbridge Hurricanes defender Logan McCutcheon of Saskatoon, along with Prince George Cougars forward Kyren Gronick of Regina.

Connor Bedard (Regina Pats), Adam Fantilli (Chicago Steel) and Matthew Savoie (Winnipeg Ice) are the main attractions at forward for the camp, while the defence is highlighted by 2020 OHL Draft first overall pick Ty Nelson of the North Bay Battalion.

Gatineau Olympiques blueliner Tristan Luneau, who was the top selection in last year’s QMJHL Draft, earned an invite to the camp but will not participate due to an injury.

2022 Memorial Cup

The Quebec Remparts and the Saint John Sea Dogs have officially announced their intentions to host the 2022 Memorial Cup, which will take place from June 3-12.

Both QMJHL clubs will submit their bids in August, with the winner being announced in early September.

Since returning to the QMJHL in 1997, the Remparts have hosted the event on two occasions (2003 and 2015) and won the tournament in 2006 when they beat a host Moncton Wildcats side that topped them in the QMJHL final.

The Sea Dogs have never been the hosts for the Memorial Cup, but they won the event in 2011 over the host Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.

They also qualified for the event as QMJHL champions in 2012 and 2017, but lost in the semifinal round to the Shawinigan Cataractes and the Erie Otters respectively.

The 2022 tournament will mark the first time that the Memorial Cup will have taken place since 2019, when it was hosted by the Halifax Mooseheads.

The Kelowna Rockets were gearing up to hold the event in 2020, but it was cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as was this year’s tournament that the OHL’s Oshawa Generals and Soo Greyhounds were planning to bid on.