Finding out that you’ve been drafted to a WHL team while sitting in class would be a pretty cool way to start a school day. That was the case for Luke Moroz, who was selected 15th overall by the Prince Albert Raiders in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft.
“I was quite speechless, I didn’t really know what to say,” Moroz said in an interview with the Prince Albert Daily Herald. “I was actually sitting in science class, so it was pretty nuts. Our teacher had the draft up on the whiteboard, and a bunch of my other hockey friends from different classes came in and we all celebrated together, so that was a lot of fun.”
Moroz lit the lamp all season long, leading the Sask. AA league with 108 points (47G-61A) in 27 regular season games. He added an additional 27 points (15G-12A) in 7 playoff games. He hopes to bring the same offensive punch to a Raider team who could certainly use it.
“I plan to bring on everything I have, whether it’s offence or defence or whatever I can do to help the team win,” the Regina product said. “I always give it 100 per cent every day and bring the team up when times are tough. When there are droughts in the season, just try to stay consistent.”
For fans looking forward to seeing the offensive prowess of Moroz in years to come, he explained what he can bring to the table, and what to expect of him in his time with the organization.
“On ice I would say I’m a fast, high IQ, good hockey sense player that can move the puck well and play with speed,” he explained. “Off the ice I would say I’m a pretty good person. People like to be around me.”
The Raiders selected defenceman Ryan Gower with their second round pick, 32nd overall. The McCreary, Manitoba product played for the Parkland Rangers U15AAA team, putting up 34 points (13G-21A) in 32 games. He added another four points (1G-3A) in five playoff contests.
Like Moroz, it was hard at first to express his emotions, but once it sunk in that he had been drafted, it was easy to feel excited.
“It hit me pretty hard and I didn’t really know what was going on for a few minutes,” he told the Daily Herald. “Once it kind of sunk in, it was an exciting feeling.”
As soon as he found out he had been taken by Prince Albert, Gower jumped on his phone and immediately started doing research about the city and the team. He says it’s an organization that he can’t wait to be a part of.
“I’ve looked into Prince Albert and it looks like a great organization, and it just seems like a place that I would be very happy to be,” he explained. “There’s a lot there that I can see and learn about, and just really get interested in the team and the whole city. On the hockey aspect of it, they have a great organization, and an amazing hockey community. It just seems like it would be a really fun place to play.”
Gower was very modest when asked about where he was selected in the draft. He says he didn’t expect to be taken that early, but was very happy to hear his name called in the second round.
“I actually expected to go a lot later than that. That was another thing that kind of shocked me that I went in the second round. It’s not something that I ever really thought I would get picked that high in.”
Prince Albert Raiders draft summary:
Round one (15 overall): Luke Moroz (forward)
Round two: (32 overall): Ryan Gower (defenceman)
Round three (60 overall): Oli Chenier (forward)
Round three (64 overall): Dayce Derkatch (forward)
Round four (76 overall): Jaxon Herchak (defenceman)
Round five (98 overall): Liam Bursaw (forward)
Round six (120 overall): Ethan Bibeau (forward)
Round six (126 overall): Noah Smith (defenceman)
Round seven (142 overall): Will Shepard (forward)
Round eight (164 overall): Mikey Thomas (forward)
Round ten (208 overall): Cooper Anderson (goalie)
Round eleven (230 overall): Hubert Clarke (defenceman)
The Raiders also had two picks in the 2022 U.S. Prospects Draft on Wednesday. They selected forward Dylan Nolan tenth overall and Gordon Jennings in the second round 35th overall.
With the first overall pick in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft, the Medicine Hat Tigers selected forward Gavin McKenna.