By Lethbridge Herald on October 7, 2020.
Ridly Greig is taking his game to Canada’s Capital.
The Lethbridge product and second-year forward with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League was selected in the first round and 28th overall by the Ottawa Senators in the opening day of the NHL draft Tuesday night.
Greig enjoyed a breakout year in his second season with the Wheaties in 2019-20, scoring 26 goals and 60 points in 56 games before the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s just a loss for words, really,” said Greig, who turned 18 Aug. 8 and was ranked 15th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting rankings heading into the draft. “I’m really excited, lots of emotions. I’m so happy to spend it with my family and everything they’ve done for me. I’m really looking forward to just getting things started.”
Greig becomes the second member of his family to become a first-round NHL draft pick.
His father, Mark, was a first-round pick of the Hartford Whalers in 1990 and is currently a scout with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Greig credited both his father and mother, Cindy, for helping set up the next stage of his hockey career.
“He’s definitely really happy for me,” said Greig, who was selected eighth overall by the Wheat Kings in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. “I’m sure he’s pretty proud. He’s done a lot for me growing up, waking up at five in the morning and driving me to the rink and same with my mom. It’s unbelievable what my mom has done for me. I’m really proud and thankful for them.”
Greig spent two seasons with the Lethbridge Val Matteotti bantam AAA Golden Hawks, scoring 13 goals and 42 points in 36 games in 2015-16 and 22 goals and 71 points in 35 games in 2016-17. Those totals that year set up his eighth overall selection by Brandon.
In his first year with the Lethbridge midget AAA Hurricanes in 2017-18, Greig tallied 24 goals and 54 points in 32 games, helping the Canes to an Alberta Midget Hockey League championship and a bronze medal at the Telus Cup.
In his first full season in Brandon in 2018-19, Greig had 14 goals and 35 points in 63 games.
Heading into a summer mostly put on hold due to the pandemic, Greig kept busy working out and attending former Lethbridge Hurricanes and current Vancouver Giants head coach Mike Dyck’s United Hockey school in July.
He kept a casual approach as the draft approached, but Greig conceded it was nice to hear his name called.
“It’s been alright, I think I handle it pretty well,” he said. “But I think these last couple of days have for sure been a little bit stressful and I’m so excited to get things started and so happy it’s over.”
Greig said he had contact with Ottawa and a few other teams during quarantine in the summer.
“But I talked to Ottawa a couple of times and I’m really excited to be drafted by them.”
But Tuesday night was about sharing the moment with those closest to him.
“I’ll just enjoy this day with my family and I think my dad gets back in a couple of days,” said Greig. “So I’ll see him and it’s right back to training and working out. I’m looking forward for the season to start.”
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