Camrose connection for Raymond

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

For Mason Raymond, the road to the NHL went through Camrose.

The former Camrose Kodiak was in the Vancouver Canucks lineup last night as they took on the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.

Raymond, 22, a Calgary native, played his 12 game for the Canucks.

"It's exciting to come in here, playing against Edmonton," said the 22-year-old Calgary native.

"But you have to take it as just another game against another team, you have to be just as good, just as sharp and you have to play really well."

Raymond played two seasons with the Kodiaks before going to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He was Vancouver's second pick - 51st overall - in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

"It was always a dream of mine to play in the NHL, I never thought about it a lot at that time (in Camrose)," he said. "There were a couple of stepping stones along the way with college and playing in the AHL a little last year.

"It's reality now and it's something that I cherish looking back on that now. It's one of the best organizations in all of Junior A hockey. Hats off to (head coach) Boris Rybalka and all that he's done to help me get where I am today."

"I wasn't the biggest kid in midget," said Raymond, who was passed over in the WHL bantam draft.

"Everything fell into place going to Camrose, and I wouldn't trade it for anything."

Heading into last night's contest, Raymond had a goal and three assists through his first 11 games.

-- VAN DIEST


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