I’m honoured to share the news that our ’06 goaltender Raiden Legall has earned a scholarship from Bemidji State, a prestigious NCAA Division 1 university. This is the highest achievement for a junior A hockey player in Canada or the United States, and is no surprise considering the lengths the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips went to a few months ago in an effort to sway Raiden to the major junior route. Raiden and I spoke while he was in Everett in September, and he was faced with a choice. This happens eventually with elite players, and if you have choices in life you’re probably doing something right. Fortunately our conversation went well and Raiden chose to play here in Niverville, and now he’s got a scholarship waiting for him when he graduates from junior hockey.
Raiden was one of our first draft picks, along with Lorette’s Avery Laliberte and Winnipeg’s Nathan Brown. Brown is already committed to Division 1 St. Cloud State and we believe Laliberte is on the same trajectory. First and foremost these are good human beings, and they check the two most important boxes for us: character and compete. It’s also important to note that Raiden has a good team in front of him, while Nathan Brown and Avery Laliberte play with talented, hard-working teammates. These three are a huge part of our success, and while it’s important to win games for our program and our city, the most important aspect of our job here is to move people on to the next level. Sometimes that’s a division 1 scholarship, sometimes it’s Canadian University, and sometimes it’s hanging the skates up and joining the work force or attending school full time. I’m proud of them all once they embark on that next phase.
For now though the moment belongs to Raiden and his family. Well done young man, everyone in Niverville is proud of you.