The difficult decision to suspend play in the midst of the Schmalz Cup playoffs brought an end to at least four sensational junior hockey careers with Raiders overage players Evan Foley, Austin Labelle, Brodie Maracle and Justynn Steven aging out. Each played several years both in the Provincial Junior Hockey League and also skated in Ontario Junior Hockey League, plus played a key role in Napanee’s 2019 run to the Schmalz Cup.
- Alternate captain Evan Foley, of Belleville, played four seasons in the PJHL. Playing two seasons each in Port Hope and Napanee, he finished with 103 goals and 156 assists for 259 points in 159 games. In divisional playoffs, he had 22 goals and 59 assists for 81 points in 44 games. Evan was part of three division championship teams and played in the Schmalz Cup final three times, winning once. He was the Empire B rookie of the year in 2015-2016. He was the PJHL top scorer this season and won the Tod Division overager of the year award. Evan also played a season with the Wellington Dukes.
- Alternate captain Austin Labelle, of Belleville, played four seasons in the PJHL, three with Napanee and one with Picton. He finished his career with 71 goals and 134 assists for 205 points in 136 games. In divisional playoffs, Labelle had eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points in 38 games. The winger was the Empire B rookie of the year in 2014-2015 as an underage player. Returning to the league with Napanee after two years with the Wellington Dukes, Austin helped the Raiders to two league regular season championships, a Tod Division title and a Schmalz Cup.
- Alternate captain Brodie Maracle, of Deseronto, played five seasons in the PJHL and is the last active player who skated for the Deseronto Storm franchise. He also played one season with the Wellington Dukes. In his time in the league, he amassed 64 goals and 133 assists for 197 points in 174 games, while playing as both a forward and a defenceman. In 34 playoff games, he scored seven goals and added 18 assists for 25 points. Maracle was twice a finalist for the division’s top defenceman. Brodie finishes with two divisional regular season titles, one Tod Division championship, and a Schmalz Cup.
- Captain Justynn Steven, of Kingston, played 170 games over five regular seasons with the Raiders. He finished with 101 goals and 93 assists for 194 points. In six divisional playoffs, he added 23 goals and 22 assist for 45 points in 52 games. The forward is a past recipient of the President’s Award. Justynn also played part of a season with the Wellington Dukes. Justynn led the Raiders to two Budarick Trophies as regular season champions, a Tod Division championship and a Schmalz Cup.
Words can’t measure what all of these young men have meant to our organization and we simply thank them for all they have given. They will be remembered forever as champions.
Particularly with an older team built to contend for a second consecutive Schmalz Cup in 2020, several additional Raiders may have completed their tenure with the organization this year. The organization would like to congratulate all those players moving on to other opportunities in hockey and in life. Graduating players will be more suitably recognized once the COVID-19 situation passes, both at a recognition banquet and possibly at future home games.