QUEBEC CITY, QUE.: With the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft over with, Riley Kidney knows the real work begins to land a spot with his new team, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Kidney, an Enfield product, was selected 11th overall in round one by the 2018 Memorial Cup champions. He was one of two first round picks the Titan selected as they rebuild. Cole Huckins was the other.
The Hants East Rural High student is excited to get things going.
“It’s an honour,” said Kidney in a phone interview shortly after hearing his name called. “It’s a dream come true.”
He said the team did talk to him about their expectations.
“They said they’re really excited to have me,” he said. “I’m just excited to be a Titan.”
It looked like the stars were aligning to see Kidney join brother Liam with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, who were to pick 12th. That was until the Titan had their say and chose him.
With Kidney off the board, Cape Breton then dealt the 12th overall pick to Victoriaville for the no. 17—used to select defenceman Jeremy Langlois—and the no. 25 pick—used to pick David Doucet, who played with Newbridge Academy last year.
Kidney talked about now getting to play against his brother.
“It’s going to be really cool,” he said. “I can’t wait for it to happen.”
He knows what he has to work on to make the jump out of training camp in August.
“I have to get bigger and stronger,” said Kidney, adding he plans to workout five days a week.
The Cole Harbour Wolfpack major midget star talked about his draft day experience.
“I was extremely nervous and excited,” said Kidney. “I can’t describe the feeling when my name got called.”
Kidney said the whole day was an “unbelievable” experience.
“Walking down after hearing my name called and getting my picture taken with the team was just amazing,” he said.
Meanwhile, in round 11 of the draft, the Halifax Mooseheads selected mobile defenceman Mike Sack of Indian Brook.
Other East Hants players were eligible to be selected, but unfortunately they were not. However, they can still go to a team’s camp if invited and make it out of there.