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Saskatoon’s Riley Heidt hits 100 points on the season with Prince George Cougars

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Brady Hunt, front, tries to stop a shot off the stick of Minnesota Wild center Riley Heidt in the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Avalanche defenseman Brady Hunt, front, tries to stop a shot off the stick of Minnesota Wild center Riley Heidt in the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Prince George Cougars forward and Saskatoon product, Riley Heidt, is having another remarkable season hitting a new personal best of 100 points on the year.

“At the end of the day I just care about my team and my success comes with that. So as long as we’re winning game, obviously personal success is going to come,” Heidt said.

Right now Heidt sits second in the league for points behind Moose Jaw Warriors forward, Jagger Firkus who has 101. Heidt is 16th in the league in goals but sits second in assists.

Last year Heidt came close to 100 when he recorded 25 goals and 72 assists in 68 games for a total of 97 points.

“He hit 97 last year and when you break it all down and after the season we’re talking ‘going three points, only three points away from 100!’ because 100 points is a real special number in hockey and it’s not surprising he’s got 100 (this year). We kind of expected him to get 100. It’s not only the points, it’s the way he’s playing now. He plays a real smart game,” said Mark Lamb, head coach of the Prince George Cougars.

“At that time I wanted [to hit 100]. It’s hard not to think about obviously but at the end of the day, I just care about my team. But it was kind of a big game with a lot of emotions. It was our last game in Kelowna and once I scored, it was a goal too, so it was nice to get a goal, not an assist [for my hundredth point]. My assistant coach told me I had to get a goal for it,” Heidt joked.

He will have plenty of time to add to his point total as there are still 10 regular season games remaining and there are high hopes the Cougars will have a long playoff run as they are sitting in first in the Western Conference. The team has already clinched not only a playoff spot but is the only squad to have also clinched their division already.

“They’ve never come out of it (the season with a championship) so it would be pretty cool. We got our BC Division banner and it hasn’t happened for six years. There’s not too many hanging in the building so that’s special in itself. But we’re for sure not settled with that we have to get more than that,” Heidt said.

“Pretty much for the last four years, we’ve been developing and building our hockey program. The last two years it’s really progressed and this year has been a really good year from the start,” said Lamb when asked about the team’s success.

Lamb also noted the organization’s draft picks are finally paying off.

“You go right back to that draft, you know we had three first-rounders, we picked him [Heidt] second. That was kind of the real start to this progression of an organization of really changing things around. So he [Heidt] is really the head of the snake in that department.”

The 18-year-old is in his fourth Western Hockey League (WHL) season but third full year with the team. In 2020 Heidt was selected second overall in the WHL Prospects Draft. The first overall pick was former Regina Pats captain and current NHLer, Connor Bedard.

“Everyone kind of knew he was going first overall and then it was guy of a guessing game after that. It was pretty cool. I mean it’s hard to remember, I was so young but I was just watching it with my family (online). Once I got picked it was really cool. The rest is history and it’s been really good since day one,” Heidt said.

In 2023 Heidt was selected in the second round 64th overall in the National Hockey League (NHL) draft to the Minnesota Wild. But before he turns pro he will continue his lasting legacy with the Prince George Cougars’ organization as he is now the all-time franchise leader in goals, assists, and points.

“It was a pretty special moment. My family came out for that game, they kind of honoured that and it’s super special. I mean I’m just happy to have my name beside that. I mean I’m sure it’ll get beat some day but hopefully can keep it there for a while,” he said.

“At such a young age, that’s the thing I feel like he’s 19 or 20 because I’ve been around him for so long but sometimes you forget how young he is and how well he’s done. When you look at the numbers, I mean every time he gets a point now he’s adding to his totals,” Lamb said.

Heidt played U18 for the Saskatoon Contacts AAA team and shared how important his Saskatchewan roots are to the player he is today.

“I’m pretty proud of it. I don’t know what the actual stat is but Saskatchewan produces a lot of good players that I’ve looked up to as well. If you want to be born into it there’s outdoor rinks everywhere that you can go at a young age. That’s kind of how I learned my craft was with my brother on the outdoor rink and with my dad. It’s pretty cool to reflect on that,” Heidt said.

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