Stanick hopeful for pro opportunity after WHL career comes to close

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Sloan Stanick of the Prince Albert Raiders handles a puck during a home game earlier this season.

From the time he arrived in Prince Albert, all Sloan Stanick did was improve.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says Stanick was a huge presence in the team’s dressing room in his final season.

“With 84 points this year, his energy was infectious. The leadership in practices, he set the tone for us.”

The Rapid City, Manitoba product was originally drafted by the Everett Silvertips in the seventh round, 145th overall in the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft..

Stanick would never sign with the Silvertips organization and found himself on the move to Regina on January 10, 2019. The Pats acquired the rights to Stanick, a 2020 second round pick (selection was later dealt to Seattle for Roddy Ross and used on goaltender Scott Ratzlaff) and a 2022 sixth round pick (selection was dealt back to Everett and used on forward Lukas Kaplan) in exchange for forward Robbie Holmes.

After spending the 2020-21 bubble season and the first five games of the 2021-22 season with the Pats, Stanick would find himself on the move for the final time in his WHL career.

The Prince Albert Raiders acquired the services of Stanick on October 12, 2021 from the Pats, sending physical defenceman Adam McNutt back to the provincial capital.

Stanick would hit the ground running with the Raiders, posting 45 points in 61 games for the Raiders following the move.

The next two seasons, Stanick improved on his numbers registering 64 points in 67 games as a 19-year-old and having an impressive overage campaign with 84 points as a 20-year-old.

Stanick says he was thankful to play in front of a passionate Raider fan base for the final three years of his WHL career.

“The coaching staff and Curtis (Hunt), they made it fun to come to the rink every day and nobody works harder than them. Someone came up to me at Tim Horton’s yesterday and just thanked me, and that was pretty special. The community is always rooting for us and watching. They’re the most passionate fans in the world. I look forward to coming back and cheering on the Raiders and just watching them succeed over the next few years.”

Stanick and the Raiders saw their season come to an end last week as they fell to the Saskatoon Blades in five games in the first round of the WHL playoffs.

Stanick says it was special to have his last games in the WHL come in a rivalry playoff series.

“We wanted to win obviously and it didn’t work out for us. They’re a good rivalry and made it fun for us and I hope the fans really enjoyed it because everyone in our room did.”

Now that his junior career has come to a close, Stanick says he holds quite a few moments close to his heart as something he will remember for years to come.

“There are quite a few (memories). The overtime winner in Brandon, close to my hometown, doesn’t really beat that but there are a couple of great ones making the playoffs with this team. Just the memories in the dressing room pranking guys having fun; those are memories that will last for sure.”

As for future plans, Stanick is hoping to get a shot to play in the professional ranks but hasn’t yet heard any news.

“(I’m) not too sure yet.” Stanick says. “Hopefully in the next few days we’ll see what happens and go from there. I’m looking forward to an opportunity and you just got to take advantage of that and I just want to thank my billet Nancy too. She’s the best and she made it easy the last three years and thought I’d give her a shout out here.”