The Winnipeg ICE have signed 16-year-old forward Rhys Raeside to a Western Hockey League standard player agreement. Following a number of injuries and minor setbacks, the ICE decided to deepen their suddenly dwindling offensive corps Tuesday with a depth forward signing.
Raeside, a 2003-born product of Winnipeg, has currently been playing with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Winnipeg Blues – who, much like the ICE also owned by 50 Below Sports + Entertainment – during the 2019-20 season. He has 14 goals, 29 points and 18 penalty minutes for the ninth-place Blues.
“Rhys has taken some really good steps this year in his development working closely with Gord Burnett and the Winnipeg Blues organization,” said Winnipeg ICE Director of Scouting and Hockey Operations Jake Heisinger in a team-issued press release. “He has earned an opportunity with the Winnipeg ICE.”
After completing his Bantam AAA career with the Winnipeg Warriors in 2017, Raeside moved to Victoria, BC, where he suited up for Pacific Coast Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound winger then spent his Grade 10 year with the Dakota Collegiate Lancers, completing the season as a point-per-game player, picking up nine goals and 21 points in 21 regular season games.
Despite icing one of – if not the – leanest rosters in the entire Canadian Hockey League with just one backup forward, one extra defenceman and one additional rostered goaltender, the ICE have been relying on a near-constant emergency recall of No. 1 draft pick Matthew Savoie so far this season.
Although failing to become the first WHL player granted Exceptional Status earlier this year, the 15-year-old has been able to see his way into nine contests for Winnipeg thus far. The signing of Reaside should provide some depth in the case of further injury to the ICE forward corps. Winnipeg next sees action on Wednesday evening from Wayne Fleming Area, as the Kelowna Rockets travel to Manitoba for a 7:30 PM central matchup.