POWELL RIVER, BC -- The Powell River Kings are proud to announce that 1994-born defenceman Brian Rideout has committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks for the 2014/2015 season.
Rideout, in his 2nd year with the Kings made the decision earlier this week, seeing an excellent opportunity for him to step in and contribute during his freshman season. “They need some players right now, they’re short on the blue line so it’s nice to go in somewhere I’m expected to play and work for a spot, and not just be a guy on the depth chart” says Rideout. “Everyone wants to play, especially if you’re getting a chance to go to school and play, you want to actually be in the line-up and work for your spot night in and night out.”
He adds that a decision on his college future has been a tough one to balance with playing. “It’s kind of something that came up a little before Christmas, and you try not to think about it while you’re playing. Over the weekend, we were short and I was able to get out of my mind and then things fell in place on Monday.”
In 44 games to date this season, Rideout has 4 goals and 19 assists, and leads all Kings defencemen in scoring. For Kings Head Coach and General Manager Kent Lewis, Rideout’s decision is a nice reward for a player who has developed well in Powell River. “We’re really happy for Brian and his decision to go to Nebraska-Omaha next season” says Lewis. “He’s come in and especially this year, logged a lot of big minutes for us in a lot of different situations.”
Rideout will be the 3rd BCHL player on the Mavericks roster, joining former Penticton Vees forward James Polk and Prince George Spruce Kings goaltender Kirk Thompson. Rideout knows that the quick turn-around between Junior and College hockey will be a big test for him. “Everything seems like it’ll happen so fast in the next couple of months, but I just need to keep working on the little things, not lose focus and not get content with anything.”
Off the ice, Rideout has his sights set on one particular program at UNO. “They offer a really good Construction Management major, so that’s something that’s got my interest, so hopefully my courses line up with that” says Rideout.
The University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks play in the NCAA’s National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), which is home former Kings defenceman Matt Joyaux (Miami-Ohio) and in 2015/2016 Jarid Lukosevicius (Denver).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)