On December 2nd, the Crusaders brought in two Sherwood Park natives both with WHL experience: Cam Reagan and Jesse Zaharichuk.
Cam Reagan came to the Crusaders after spending time in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers and the Prince Albert Raiders. His time within the WHL saw him play more of a stay at home role, not allowing him to score many points. Reagan’s most successful year came in 2016 when he skated in 61 games for the Blazers, scoring nine points and playing in seven playoff games.
Once Reagan was brought to the Crusaders he was allowed to unleash his offensive abilities. The Sherwood Park native became a deadly weapon on the powerplay; it didn’t take him long to establish himself as a guy with one of the hardest shots in the league. His first year with the Crusaders saw him hit career highs in all offensive categories scoring 10 goals and 30 points in only 31 games. In his AJHL playoff debut, Reagan played in all four games for the Cru adding another four points to his season tally. By the end of the season, Reagan became both a fan and coach favourite. At the end of season awards, the 6 foot 1 defenseman went home with the Coaches Award for leadership and dedication both on and off the ice. Next season, he will be a key part of whatever success this young Crusaders roster has and will likely be one of the best players in the AJHL.
The other player acquired on that day was Jesse Zaharichuk, the cousin of assistant captain Darcy Zaharichuk. Zaharichuk is a skilled scoring forward with tremendous stick handling. Before he came to the Crusaders, he had already spent time with the Drumheller Dragons playing in 48 games until he was called up to the Kamloops Blazers. He later went on to play for the Kootenay Ice and the Lethbridge Hurricanes, where he was a point per game player.
Although he had AJHL experience under his belt, it took him some time to adjust back to the league. However, once he found his groove he became a force to be reckoned with. Crusader fans saw him go on an eight-game point streak where he scored 16 points, three of them being multi-point games.
Despite only being with the Crusaders for a short period of time, both players made a huge impact on the lineup. The season may not have ended the way they wanted it to, but with the performances the two of them gave on the ice, it showed what kind of players they were.