© Herald photo by Perry Bergson
Prince Albert Raiders hopefuls Rylan Parenteau (left) and Nick McBride are the top candidates to serve as backup goalie this season, one of the more compelling battles in camp.
In one of the more compelling battles in Prince Albert Raiders camp this year, a pair of young goalies with very different styles are looking to save a spot on the roster.
Rylan Parenteau, 17, led the Saskatoon Contacts to the AAA Midget title in Saskatchewan, beating the Prince Albert Mintos in the league final to advance to the Telus Cup.
Nick McBride, meanwhile, was a member of the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs, posting a 12-7-0 record with a 3.74 goals against average in 19 games in midget hockey last season.
Raiders head of player development Dale Derkatch says the pair give the club some interesting alternatives.
“They’re very different goalies,” Derkatch says. “Parenteau is a very active, very athletic in terms of his movement in the net and compete level, and I think very reactionary. He’s a competitor.
“McBride, on the other side, is very calm and confident in terms of his play. It’s very quiet, I would call it, but nothing rattles him. He just goes about his business.”
McBride, 16, was selected 23rd overall in the second round of the 2012 WHL bantam draft while Parenteau, 17, was picked 53rd overall in the third round in the 2011 draft, one pick after forward Tim Vanstone.
Neither is surprised that the hunt for a spot means taking it from the other.
“That’s what most of the guys out here are doing,” McBride says. “They’re all competing for a few spots and some of them will end up being teammates. It’s just how it goes. Once you’re teammates, it’s a brotherhood but until then you have to battle.”
“Right now it’s pretty much friend and foe,” Parenteau says. “We’ll build a good relationship (but) don’t get too attached or close because I’m still fighting against him for that spot.”
After Luke Siemens graduated, it appeared that 19-year-old Andy Desautels would be starting with one of the youngsters backing him up. But when Raiders GM made a huge deal in July to acquire Cole Cheveldave from the Kamloops Blazers, Desautels chose to leave the team.
The net result was the same; a job was left open for one of the youngsters to fill.
“It’s not like bringing in a 20-year-old would be my first choice but if I was the GM I would have done the same thing,” McBride says. “It’s a smart move and I’ll bet that he’ll be a good mentor this season to either me or Rylan.”
Parenteau says that Raiders GM Bruno Campese told him that he would likely be looking for a younger understudy to Cheveldave.
“With the 20-year-old coming in, I know that they have the starting role locked down for sure,” Parenteau says. “So I knew that it was my role to fight for that second spot and come into camp with a positive attitude.”
They are quick to compliment each other so the rivalry has been a friendly one since they first met at the 2012 spring camp.
Both ultimately know that their fate lies in their own hands.
“I want to prove myself at camp, show my consistency throughout all four days and hopefully make it through main camp and the intersquad game and play exhibition,” Parenteau says. “Just play my game and show them what I have.”
McBride looks at it as a chance to improve.
“I really just want to show myself and play to the best of my abilities,” McBride says. “However it goes, as long as I come out of camp saying I tried my hardest and stayed positive, it’s going to be a good camp and a good learning experience.”