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Canadiens Prospect Watch: Riley Kidney On Fire After Trade

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Montreal Canadiens prospect Riley Kidney

We’ve come to expect good things from Montreal Canadiens prospect Riley Kidney, but it’s also fair to point out that he wasn’t exactly playing on a star-studded team this season.

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan are 14th in the QMJHL standings, and though there’s value in seeing a prospect excelling without a strong supporting cast, it’s also important to evaluate what they can do when they’re on a contending team.

Now that Kidney has been traded to the Gatineau Olympiques in a blockbuster deal, we can get a better appreciation of his overall potential, seeing as his new team is just two points out of second place in the league.

Strong Start

Kidney’s first game with the Olympiques served as a short, but necessary acclimatization period, but he quickly found his rhythm the following game, earning three points in a crucial game against the league-leading Quebec Remparts.

He started by setting up Cam MacDonald’s 20th goal of the season with a perfect pass into a high-danger area and then earned a secondary assist on Samuel Lavoie’s breakaway goal.

Kidney, who featured on Gatineau’s top line, then played the hero in overtime, scoring the Olympiques’ fourth goal of the game and securing the win for his new team.

With another three-point effort in the books, Kidney currently sits tied for 10th in QMJHL scoring with 15 goals and 33 assists in 34 games, though it’s worth pointing out the Nova Scotian missed some time due to taking part in Canada’s World Junior Championship selection camp.

Earning The Call

Rem Pitlick has become the forgotten man since his re-assignment to the AHL, but it’s becoming very difficult to ignore his play, which has been nothing short of exemplary.

Sending a 25-year-old player with a relatively healthy amount of NHL experience to the minors can be a tricky decision. There’s always a risk the player may sour, deeming an AHL assignment as below their station, and possibly spreading a negative vibe throughout the locker room.

There’s been no such drama when it comes to Pitlick.

With three goals and 15 assists in 18 games, Pitlick leads the Laval Rocket in points per game (1.29), setting up crucial goals on a team that has struggled to find consistency in the offensive zone this season.

If the goal of his AHL assignment was to challenge Pitlick to find his game, it’s safe to assume the Ottawa native has done everything in his power to succeed, and it’s up to Canadiens management to decide when to reward him with a return to the NHL.

Other Canadiens Prospect News And Notes

  • Fresh off a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2023 World Junior Championship, talented centre Owen Beck was part of a blockbuster trade in the OHL.
  • After serving a suspension, Logan Mailloux returned to the London Knights lineup in style, scoring a second-period power-play goal.

  • Jakub Dobes picked up exactly where he left off at the holiday break, earning back-to-back wins for Ohio State against Michigan, including a 32-save shutout on Saturday. Dobes has saved 158 of the 167 shots he’s faced since December, good for a  0.946 save percentage in that time frame.

  • Emil Heineman scored his third goal of the season for Leksands.

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Tyrone

Pitlick: 3G + 15A in 18 games. Is that not 1.00 points per game? How do you get 1.29?

Marco D'Amico

He’s played 15 AHL games and has 18 points.

Tyrone

👍Not sure where I got 18 games from. 😂

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