UPEI lands junior A sniper
Red Deer native Rauckman commits to Panthers men’s team
Derek Ryckman has helped the UPEI Panthers landed a goalscoring left-winger from Western Canada.
Chris Rauckman said he never put much emphasis on playing in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport until becoming friends with the Panthers defenceman while training together in Red Deer, Alta.
“Rycks was always talking about how good the hockey was, about how awesome P.E.I. is and this top-quality college hockey program at UPEI,” Rauckman said. “When my final junior season ended, I started to give it a more serious look, made a visit to P.E.I. and everyone was so nice . . . it made me confident that I was making the right choice.”
Rauckman, 20, has committed to the Panthers for the upcoming season and will enroll in the university’s arts program.
“I’ve always prided myself on scoring goals and I am hoping to put my ability to good use to help our team succeed,” he said.
The six-foot, 190-pound Rauckman played three seasons of junior A hockey in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He scored 39 goals and had 25 assists in 56 games last season for the Flin Flon Bombers. In 2013-14, he had 33 goals and 17 assists in 59 games for the Drumheller Dragons.
“His coaches, opponents’ coaches and scouts all kept saying the same thing - this is a guy who has a laser of a shot and who always seems to excel and score from the dirty areas,” said Panthers coach Forbes MacPherson. “He is a character player. He doesn’t mind paying the price for a scoring chance and he just competes hard every night.”
Rauckman joins an incoming class of freshmen that includes defenceman Ryan MacKinnon, a Summerside native and former captain of the Charlottetown Islanders, and former Swift Current Broncos winger Carter Rigby.