Raiders welcome Pats on Friday after making big roster moves

The Raiders will look to make their two game winning streak three against the Regina Pats on Friday. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

The Prince Albert Raiders made a blockbuster trade on Wednesday that still has some fans with their jaws on the ground.

Carson Latimer and Eric Johnston are the two pieces coming to Prince Albert in exchange for captain Kaiden Guhle. They will make their debuts Friday night when the Raiders welcome the Regina Pats to the Art Hauser Centre.

For Evan Herman, it was tough to see his teammate and friend traded, after spending the last three seasons together.

“Guhle was our captain. He was a great teammate, better person,” Herman said. “When something like that happens, losing a teammate and a best friend is pretty tough.”

Both Latimer and Johnston arrived in Prince Albert on Thursday morning, and Herman feels that they are great additions to the team.

“They seem like great guys,” he said. “They’re excited to get going and they’ll obviously be big parts of our team now. We’re going to treat them like family. We’re all excited that they’re here, and can’t wait for them to get started.”

Latimer, a fourth round pick of the Ottawa Senators in the 2021 NHL Entry draft, is in his second full WHL season. The 18 year old forward has six goals and two assists in 18 games this season.

Johnston is a 17 year old defenceman in his rookie season. He had four assists in 19 games for the Oil Kings this year. He played for the Regina Pat Canadians in the SMU18AAAHL from 2019-21.

The Raiders welcome the Pats after a perfect Manitoba road trip, picking up huge wins in Brandon and Winnipeg. Herman explained what has to happen to continue their recent success.

“We just have to stick to our structure and our game plan,” he said. “We have a good group of guys in the room. I believe in our group and we’re looking forward to getting going again on Friday.”

With the Pats comes Connor Bedard, the 16 year old who has already built an impressive resume in the WHL. Already an assistant captain on the team, Bedard has amassed 17 points in 21 games this season, including three goals in two games against the Raiders. With all the hype being around Bedard, Herman knows they will have to keep close tabs on him at all times, but at the same time create chances for themselves.

“He’s a good player,” Herman said. “You definitely have to be aware when he’s on the ice, but I think we’re just focused on our team play. We’re going to play how we want to play and we’ll be fine.”

Of course with Herman being from The Pas, MB, the question of the day shifted  to the CFL. With the Saskatchewan Roughriders making the trip into Winnipeg to face the Blue Bombers, Herman laughed as he picked his side for the game.

“I’ll definitely be cheering for the Bombers. Grey Cup champs two years in a row would be pretty nice.”

That game is on Sunday afternoon, and puck drop for the Raider game from the Art Hauser Centre is Friday at 7pm.