Kidney excited for QMJHL draft weekend

Online First Sports

ENFIELD: A dream is about to be realized for Enfield’s Riley Kidney, and it could include a milestone moment.

Kidney is ranked 17th to go in this weekend’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) draft, set for June 8 in Quebec City.

It’s distinctly possible that the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, who hold pick 12, takes him setting up a milestone first-ever moment of Riley and his older brother Liam, drafted in 2017 by the Eagles, playing on the same team.

That’s something not lost on the younger Kidney, who just finished the 2018-2019 season with Cole Harbour Wolfpack.

“Although it would be cool to play with my brother, it would be equally cool to play against him,” said Riley on May 27. “Either way, I’m sure my parents would love to see their boys playing in the QMJHL next year.”

A pair of online mock drafts, including one by a journalist covering the Victoriaville Tigers, has Kidney going 10th overall to Sherbooke or to the Eagles at number 12. If he were to go to Cape Breton, that would mean there are three East Hants player son their roster. The third is Shaun Miller, also of Enfield.

Kidney said he’s dreamt about playing in the Q since he began playing hockey.

“It’s pretty exciting to think that I could be playing in that league next year,” he said. “To be considered as a possible pick in an early round is a great honour.”

He said he is really looking forward to the draft, especially with many friends and teammates draft-eligible. He attended the 2017 draft where Liam was taken, and has sought his advice for his turn.

“Liam told me to enjoy the moment,” said Riley, a Hants East Rural High School student. “It’s a amazing experience to be in a rink with a few thousand people going through this process together.

“Its a once in a life time experience.”

Riley said he will be in Quebec City for the draft and confirmed he will report to whatever team selects him.

He confirmed the bulk of the teams int he QMJHL, including all those in Atlantic Canada, have spoken to him in the lead-up to the draft.

“I would be proud to play with any of them,” he said.

Riley said he knows he has work to do to make the jump, and he’s already putting in the hours in his off-season regime to get himself in shape to do that come August for training camps.

“I’m working out with Liam and other Q players this summer in the gym, on the field and on the ice so that come August I will be ready to take the next step, if given that opportunity,” said Riley.

Brody Fraser of Nine Mile River; Mike Sack of Indian Brook; and Joey Merriam of Milford are also draft eligible, according to Cole Foston of Beaver Bank is ranked 48th (third round). Defenceman Cam Whynot of Valley is ranked fourth overall.