Charlottetown native returns to capital to play major junior hockey following Islanders’ trade with Gatineau Olympiques
© Canadian Press photo
Kameron Kielly is returning home for his second year of major junior hockey.
The Charlottetown native was called into the Gatineau Olympiques coach’s office on Sunday and within 10 seconds found out he had been traded to his hometown team, the Charlottetown Islanders.
“I had an idea that I was going to be traded,” Kielly said Monday. “He told me that I was traded to Charlottetown and excitement shot through my body.”
Kielly said it’s a dream come true.
“Every kid dreams of playing at home. To be a part of this new upcoming era for the Charlottetown Islanders is pretty exciting to me.”
The Islanders traded defencemen Alex Chenier-Allard, a first-round pick in 2014 and a fourth-round choice in 2016 for Kielly and a fifth- and eighth-rounder in 2015.
Kielly said he can’t wait to put on the Islanders’ jersey.
“It’s going to be pretty cool to know friends and family will be there every night, it adds a little more extra motivation to bring my A-game.
“My family are my biggest fans, so they’re all pretty happy.”
Kielly grew up playing his minor hockey with the Sherwood Falcons, the same team as former Rocket captain Josh Currie.
“He was role model for kids in Charlottetown and hopefully someday I can do the same thing,” Kielly said of Currie.
The former first-round pick in 2012 returned home from Gatineau early Monday afternoon after attending camp for four days.
“We played a few inter-squad games and one exhibition game. I had my first fight and an assist,” he laughed.
“It was going well. They’re going to have a good team this year.”
He said he worked hard on his strength in the off-season.
“Last year, I was pushed off the puck too easy and I found with guys being older it was tough, so this year I worked on building up some strength and being stronger in the corners.”
Kielly said he considers himself a two-way forward but hopes to contribute to the team anyway he can.
“I hope I can be used in any situation, killing penalties, play the power play, what ever the coach wants from me,” he said.
Kielly will join a few of his former Falcons and major midget teammates at Islanders camp.
“I’m pretty close with a few guys on the team. It’ll be good to get a chance to play with them. They’re all good players and I’m excited to meet the new guys.”
General manager Grant Sonier said the Islanders are happy to be able to pick up a player like Kielly.
“I want Islanders to understand the most important thing about this trade is that Kameron Kielly is a heck of a hockey player, regardless of where he is from,” said Sonier.
He said it is a bonus for the hockey club that he is from Charlottetown.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that, but this was a hockey deal done because we really like Kameron Kielly today and certainly love the upside that he has to play in the league for a long time.”
Last season with the Olympiques, the six-foot 165-pound right winger had two goals and four assists in 60 regular season games, he also added one assist in the team’s seven playoff games.
“He has offence, size, hockey sense and determination,” said Sonier. “Those are all the characteristics we want to build our hockey club around and he has all of those.”
The Islanders were busy on Monday, the final trading day before the pre-season trade period ended.
Along with the deal with Gatineau, they also traded blue-liner Beau Rusk to Rimouski for an eighth-round selection in the 2015 draft and sent Charles Lapointe to Drummondville for future considerations.
“All decisions were a result of fitting pieces into the overall picture that we think we need,” said Sonier. “As of today, the trade freeze is on so the players remaining in camp will make up our roster from now until Christmas.”
The Islanders were busy during the pre-season trading period making seven deals during the last four days, including trading over-age forward Victor Provencher and picking up defencemen Julien Leduc from Blainville and Guillaume Rioux-Legault from Val-d’Or.
“To get Leduc and Legault shores up our defence corps. We expect the three players to be on the ice (today).”
u Age - 16.
u Hometown - Charlottetown.
u Minor Hockey - Sherwood Falcons.
u Did You Know? - Kielly was a first-round pick by the Gatineau Olympiques in 2012.
u Quote - “Every kid dreams of playing at home, to be a part of this new up coming era for the Charlottetown Islanders is pretty exciting to me.”
u 2012 Statistics -
Games played - 60
Goals - 2
Assists - 4
Points - 6
Penalty Minutes - 14
Games played - 7
Goals - 0
Penalty Minutes - 2