The Laval Rocket are moving on in the AHL Playoffs and will have a top Montreal Canadiens prospect join the fold to help give them a boost at center against the Rochester Americans.
According to 91.9 Sports’ Anthony Marcotte, Riley Kidney has officially joined the Laval Rocket on a Professional Try-Out (PTO).
Riley Kidney signe un contrat d’essai amateur pour venir compléter les séries à Laval alors qu’Emil Heineman retournera en Suède pour poursuivre sa remise en forme.
— Anthony Marcotte (@anthonymarcotte) May 22, 2022
Riley Kidney, the Montreal Canadiens’ 2nd round pick in 2021, just had his QMJHL playoffs come to an end after his Acadie-Bathurst Titans fell to the Charlottetown Islanders in the second round. The youngster was by far the best player on his team yet again this season during the spring dance and is now able to join the Laval Rocket on their current playoff run.
Having signed his entry-level contract earlier this month, the Montreal Canadiens were able to assign him to the AHL and have him sign a PTO, which now renders him eligible for the AHL Playoffs. Kidney would have a lot to gain from the experience of being around and engaging in professional playoff hockey. He may not come in and play top-line minutes right off the bat, but exposing him to better and bigger competition could further help him in his development, as he continues to grow into a better hockey player.
— Titan d'Acadie-Bathurst (@ABTitan) May 12, 2022
The Laval Rocket were able to win their first-ever AHL Playoffs series against the Syracuse Crunch and are now set to face the Rochester Americans in the next round. They were able to beat the Crunch in dramatic fashion in Game 5 by not only forcing overtime with 30 seconds left to play, but also scoring the series-clinching goal right after killing a penalty in the extra frame. Laval was propelled to victory by the MVP-like performance of Cayden Primeau, who came into the series in Game 2 and gave the Rocket a chance to win every single game; posting a 0.940 save percentage and 1.96 GAA during this series.
The Rocket have been a well-oiled defensive machine, but goals and offensive opportunities have been hard to come by in these playoffs. The Laval Rocket began the year with centermen Ryan Poehling and Laurent Dauphin, who were ultimately called up to the Montreal Canadiens once injuries hit and were never sent back down in time to be eligible for the AHL Playoffs. Although the Canadiens sent Cedric Paquette down before the NHL Trade Deadline to give the Rocket a boost up the middle, it still remained a position of weakness, especially after Lukas Vejdemo’s season-ending injury.
The possibility of having Kidney join the club before their first game on Sunday night against the Americans could be a nice boost for the club, as they prepare to contain top prospects like Jack Quinn and Peyton Krebs. Stay tuned for a possible announcement from the Montreal Canadiens over the next few days.