Raiders ink second round selection Kelly

Photo courtesy of the Prince Albert Raiders Benett Kelly has signed with the Prince Albert Raiders

The Prince Albert Raiders continued to bolster their prospect pool as they inked 2008-born forward Benett Kelly to a WHL Scholarship and Development Agreement.

Kelly was selected in the second round, with the 27th overall pick by the Raiders. He is hoping to be a second-generation Raider as his dad, Steve played four seasons in Hockeytown North from 1992-93 through 1995-96.

“It feels amazing,” Kelly said about being drafted and signed in a press release to the Herald. “Especially getting drafted by PA, because I have a lot of family out there, and my dad used to play there. It’s a good thing to be able to play there too.”

Kelly, a product of Cochrane, Alberta is the second player from the Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA program to ink with the Raiders after the 2023 draft, joining second overall selection Riley Boychuk.

Kelly says he is looking forward to coming to training camp alongside Boychuk.

“It’s always nice knowing you have a buddy there. (Riley) is one of my best friends. He’s kind to everyone and he makes everyone around him better.”

Kelly, a defenceman listed at six feet tall, and 165 pounds posted 34 points in 33 games last season for the Airdrie Xtreme. He added seven points in nine playoff games.

He says he is looking forward to playing with a talented group of players in Prince Albert when he is eligible to join the team as a full-time player as a 16-year-old in the 2024-2025 season.

“It feels good to know that this team can be one of the top competing teams in the league, and just having all of these good players around you to make you better (like Ryder Ritchie and Cole Peardon). Just to get the chance to keep improving and be successful with all of these players around you is something that will be great.”

With Raider training camp not scheduled to begin until later this fall, Kelly says he is putting in plenty of work over the summer to make a positive impression on the Prince Albert coaching staff.

“I know I just have to keep improving and keep up the workouts and the skating in the summer. Getting a spot on the team is a goal of mine, and it’s what I’m trying out for. I’ll keep getting better and better, and I’ll come into training camp and show off all of my skills and what I can bring to this team.”

Kelly is the fourth player from the Raiders 2023 WHL Prospects Draft class to sign with the club joining first round selections Daxon Rudolph, Riley Boychuk and Ty Meunier.