Montreal Canadiens prospect determined to "destroy" the QMJHL

Published October 29, 2021 at 8:23 PM

Selected in the second round (63rd overall) of the last draft by the Habs, prospect Riley Kidney learned the hard way just how high the bar is between Canadian junior and the National Hockey League. After attending the rookie camp in early September, Kidney did not receive an invitation to the team's official camp and was quickly sent back to the junior ranks.

Initially disappointed to see about 70 players pass him by in the organization, Kidney ultimately used the setback as motivation to move forward and get better every day.

"I didn't play my style, he admitted to the Journal de Québec. I was a little taken by surprise when I got there. The guys are bigger, stronger and more physical. I didn't know what to expect at first and it opened my eyes to what I needed to improve."

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan's number 12 wants to prove to the Tricolore's staff that the player they saw playing at the rookie camp is not the "real" Riley Kidney. To do so, he has only one goal in mind, to dominate the QMJHL.

"I know I wasn't at my best in Montreal and that's what motivated me. I wanted to come back to Bathurst and "destroy" the QMJHL. I want to prove to the Habs what kind of player I am and so far I think I'm doing that."

Currently ranked second in the league in scoring with 17 points, including seven goals, in 11 games, Kidney is off to a good start this season. Especially since in the absence of Hendrix Lapierre, who is still with the Washington Capitals, the responsibility of getting the Titan's offense going rests on him.

"I like being the guy the team relies on offensively. I like having the pressure of knowing that other teams are going to make life difficult for me every night. I think that's going to help me for the rest of my career."

Because while he gets by in all three areas, Kidney's greatest skill set is on the offensive end.

"He's one of the best scorers in the league and he brings a lot to the table offensively. The Habs told me his defensive game was A1. I know that his strength is his offense, but I'm happy to hear that he paid attention to his defensive game," said his head coach Mario Durocher. "However, that's not why he'll be labeled in the NHL. He has to keep that in mind because if you want to score, you have to be able to get the puck. He wants to play pro and it's up to us to tighten a screw that sometimes has never been screwed in."

Source: Journal de Québec
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