Raiders roll on without key players
Published Wednesday, December 12, 2012 4:08PM CST
Three of the top players from the PrinceRaiders roll Albert Raiders roster could be out of the line up for some time. Mark McNeill is at Canada’s World Junior camp. Jonas Knutsen and Leon Draisaitl are representing Norway and Germany at the tournament. Raiders General Manager, Bruno Campese says it will be interesting if McNeill makes Team Canada.
“Leon, Jonas and Mark have played real well together. We could actually have our top line gone for some amount of time.”
The big question now is who will step up to replace the high powered offense of the top line.
“We have to push everyone up. I think we have a team that has been able to do that. We can work and score and everyone that is still here is an important part of the hockey club and they will do their job. “ said Raiders Head Coach, Steve Young.
McNeill, Draisaitl and Knutsen aren’t the only Raiders with World Junior commitments. Reid Gardiner and Tim Vanstone will play for Team West at the U-17 World Championship which takes place in late December in Quebec.
Centre Reid Gardiner says, “It’ll be a high level of competition and I want to play well. I am still learning to play well in all levels of the game, so I will need to take what I’m doing here and do it there.”
Forward Tim Vanstone calls himself an “energy guy.” “I lay big hits and make the plays I need to. I plan any position, play any roll and I bring offense to the team as well.”
While it will be tough for the Raiders to replace that many players, they say it isn’t all bad news.
Campese says, “Five players being identified from your team is good for the organization and good for the kids. They have worked extremely hard for this opportunity and we wish them well.”
If McNeill makes Team Canada, he will have an interesting matchup on Boxing Day. He could go head to head with his linemate Draisaitl and Team Germany.