Kelly to make NHL debut with Senators on Wednesday

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Parker Kelly skates with the Ed Chynoweth Cup after the Prince Albert Raiders defeated the Vancouver Giants in Game 7 of the WHL final at the Art Hauser Centre in May 2019.

Former Prince Albert Raiders forward Parker Kelly is set to make the jump to the National Hockey League.

Kelly, who will be turning 22 on Friday, will be in the Ottawa Senators lineup on Wednesday night as they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in their final game of the 2020-21 season.

“Parker has earned this opportunity purely on merit with how he plays and how he works hard every day,” Senators head coach D.J. Smith said during a press conference on Tuesday.

The Camrose. Alta. product, who signed with the Senators as an undrafted player in September 2017, has spent the last two years in the American Hockey League with the Belleville Senators.

He’s currently tied for third in scoring for Ottawa’s farm club with 12 points (seven goals and five assists) in 28 games.

A seventh round pick by the Raiders in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft, Kelly had 188 points in 273 regular season games and 21 points in 35 playoff contests for the team.

He’ll join Noah Gregor of the San Jose Sharks as players from the Raiders’ 2019 championship-winning side to play in the NHL.

Another member of that championship side earned a call to the show on Tuesday as blueliner Brayden Pachal was promoted by the Vegas Golden Knights.

The 21-year-old from Estevan has spend the last two years in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves and the Henderson Silver Knights, where he has put up 15 points in 70 regular season contests since signing an entry-level contract in Sept. 2019.

The Golden Knights will wrap up their regular season on Wednesday against the Sharks, but it’s not yet clear if Pachal will be in the lineup for that game.