May 23 , 2014 ISN – Prince Albert SK- Prince Albert Raiders’ forward Reid Gardiner was invited
to the NHL Draft Combine next week in Toronto for a final chance to impress
scouts ahead of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at the end of June.
The Humboldt product had a breakout year, scoring 22 goals and 44 points in
his sophomore season for the Green and Gold. The first round pick of the
Raiders in 2011 has been enjoying his offseason so far, but with the Draft
upcoming, he has been buckling down in preparations for the experience.
“[The offseason] has been relaxing for the first couple of weeks to unwind
with my family and hangout. Then I got into weight training and got invited
to the combine, so I have been training hard for that.”
The NHL Combine consists of fitness testing in front of NHL team personnel,
followed by meetings with many of the teams, something that can be a bit
intimidating for 17 and 18 year olds
“It is definitely kind of nerve racking to think about but I am very excited
for the opportunity to go and show what I’m about. It will be a cool
experience and I am going to make most out of it.”
“I try not to think about [the draft] too much, but obviously it’s on the
back of my mind,” said Gardiner on the wait for the big weekend to arrive.
“It’s something I’ve always looked forward to and for it to only be a month
away is exciting, but at the same time I really want to enjoy the month and
soak it all up because it’s a onetime experience.”
Following in the footsteps of Mike Winther (second round pick in 2012) and
Josh Morrissey (first round pick in 2013), Gardiner has been able to get
some coaching from his peers on what the busy summer that follows being
“I talked to them and they expressed thoughts and ideas on how to handle it
and how to go about things. I’m looking forward to a whirlwind of a summer,
I hope. Lots of guys have said it’s a grind but I am looking forward to it.”
When it comes down to a specific team calling his name, the Raiders forward
is not picky: “It’s a childhood dream to be drafted and now that is can
become a reality is really cool to think about. To be drafted anywhere would
be special for myself, and my family. I don’t really have any favourites on
where I want to get drafted.”
Erik Gardiner, the younger brother of Reid, went through a draft of his own
this spring, being selected by the Regina Pats in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft,
and the family rivalry has begun.
“We have already had some battles of Regina against PA in different ways.
Hopefully he can make his mark on the game and be a Regina Pat over the next
couple of years and maybe we will even play against each other.”
Even with all the excitement and speculation of what his summer might
entail, Gardiner is already looking forward to returning to Prince Albert in
“The overall experience, it’s great. We have the best fans in the league to
be able to play in the Art Hauser Centre every night is really cool. The
atmosphere around Prince Albert is phenomenal and the people are great. P.A.
is a great place to play and I couldn’t be happier anywhere else.”
Join Gardiner and the rest of the Raiders at the Art Hauser Centre all
winter long by getting your season tickets today. The Early Bird Season
Ticket deadline of Friday May 30th is fast approaching, and fans are
encouraged to purchase their season tickets prior to the deadline before the
prices are subject to increase.