Prince Albert, SK – The Prince Albert Raiders have named their leadership group for the 2021 season, captained by Kaiden Guhle.
Guhle, a Sherwood Park, AB product, becomes the 44th captain in Raider history.
Joining Guhle in the leadership group is six alternates who will rotate on a game-by-game basis: Matthew Culling, Spencer Moe, Justin Nachbaur, Eric Pearce, Reece Vitelli, and Ozzy Wiesblatt.
Guhle, a 2002-born defenceman, was picked first overall in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft by the Raiders. He is a veteran of 137 regular season games and 23 additional games in the WHL Playoffs. Combined, he has 14 goals and 47 assist and has registered a plus-42 rating.
Last season in his second year in the WHL, Guhle had 11 goals and 29 assists in 64 games en route to being named a co-recipient of the Jim Neilson Award as Most Valuable Defenceman Presented By North Star Signs. Guhle shared the award with graduating captain Zack Hayes.
In October, he was selected 16th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2020 NHL Draft and subsequently signed by the club two weeks later.
Guhle has worn a letter two times internationally for Canada. He was captain for Canada Red at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and was an alternate captain at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
“It’s an honour to be able to be picked as the captain of the team this year,” said Guhle. “There could have been many other guys to have been chosen. I’ve been luck enough to be led by (Brayden) Pachal, Hayesie (Zack Hayes), and a little bit of (Curtis) Miske who were all great leaders and I have taken notes from. I’m very excited to get to Regina and start being with the Raiders again.”
Culling, a 2001-born forward, was acquired by the Raiders in December of 2019 from the Swift Current Broncos. In half a season with the Raiders, the Regina product had four goals and three assists. He was the recipient of the Lionel Diehl Memorial Award as the Hardest Working Player Presented By RE/MAX for the 2019-20 season.
Moe is starting his fifth season with the Raiders after he was selected in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. Hailing from Calgary, the 2000-born forward had a breakout season last year with 19 goals and 32 assists in 64 games. He received the Ches Leach Award as the Most Improved Player Presented By Great Western Brewing for his efforts.
Nachbaur, who hails from Cross Lake, MB, was a seventh-round pick of the Raiders in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. Starting his fourth season with the Raiders, the 2000-born forward has 36 goals and 74 points in his 194-game WHL career.
Pearce, a 2001-born forward, is entering his fourth season in Prince Albert. He was a second-round pick of the Raiders in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. The Regina product is a veteran of 171 career games with the Raiders, tallying 14 goals and 25 points.
Vitelli, a 2001-born forward, was acquired by the Raiders in October of 2019 from the Everett Silvertips. Since joining the Raiders, the Winnipeg, MB product had eight goals and 12 assists in 55 games. He shared the Best Defensive Forward Award Presented By CTV with graduating alternate captain Brayden Watts.
Wiesblatt, a Calgary, AB product, is set to start his third season with the Raiders. Last season, the 2002-born forward set a career high with 25 goals and 70 points in 64 games. In October, he was drafted 31st overall by the San Jose Sharks. Later that month, he signed his entry-level contract with the Sharks. Wiesblatt has played in three games with the San Jose Barracuda, the Sharks’ AHL affiliate. In those games, he recorded his first professional goal.
The Raiders hit the ice with the rest of the East Division to play a 24-game season in a Hub Centre in Regina. Games begin on Friday, March 12.