Former Lewiston High School standout and Maine Nordiques forward Alex Rivet picks up a rolling puck and fires it into the net past Johnstown goalie Blaine Moore for the Nordiques’ first-ever goal on their home ice during the first period of an NAHL game at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston in Oct. 2019. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Alex Rivet is keeping his options open for his final season of junior hockey.

The Lewiston native was selected last Wednesday by the Utica Jr. Comets in the United States Premier Hockey League’s National Collegiate Development Conference draft and is going to wait to see how the rest of the summer plays out before deciding on a team. He hopes to get back to the North American Hockey League, where he started last season with the Maine Nordiques.

Rivet was sought after by the Comets and the expansion Boston Advantage prior to the NCDC draft last Wednesday.

“I was offered a tender by the Boston Advantages and I was offered by Utica, who drafted me,” Rivet said. “What happened was I didn’t want to fully commit because I knew I wanted to go to the North American (Hockey) League. Obviously, there’s a limited (number) of tenders and with all due respect to the organizations, if they were going to tender someone, it didn’t make sense to be me right away. I knew the draft was coming up and if I get drafted, I get drafted. Worse comes to worse, if I was (potentially) let go by a NAHL team, the (NCDC) is another option.”

Rivet said Utica coach Paul Kelly’s recruiting pitch prior to the draft was for him to come in and be a leader if he shows up in Utica. Rivet believes he will talk to the Jr. Comets again, since they drafted him.

The 20-year-old Rivet said he has been in contact with a few teams in the NAHL but will have to wait until the NAHL Entry Draft, which takes place on July 21. He hopes his prior experience in the league will entice a team to take him in the draft or invite him to a tryout.

“I obviously got a glimpse in my first year (last season) with the Maine Nordiques and it was a great experience for me,” Rivet said. “I can’t take it back; it was the best thing for myself for preparing for next year. I know what’s expected for me and what’s to come. I have been doing my training at home and really have focused on my off-ice testing and doing all my off-ice work so I can be in the most physically in-shape going to whatever team I end up making.”

Maine Nordiques forward Alex Rivet sends Valentino Passarelli of Jamestown flying during a physical first period Friday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Ron Morin photo

Rivet was a tender for the Nordiques in their inaugural season and suited up in 28 games, where he had three goals and five assists before being released in January.

He found a landing spot in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, where he had two assists in 12 regular-season games and no points in two playoff games, but was hampered by an injury from the start.

“I knew the MJHL had a lot of guys that were affiliated with the (Western Hockey League, one of the three Canadian Hockey Leagues at the major junior hockey level) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where the Lewiston Maineiacs were,” Rivet said. “Myself and my advisor, we thought to get a glimpse of hard-nosed, grit type of hockey that would translate into my last year of junior, and I actually separated my shoulder my second game there. I didn’t get too much of a glimpse but I got a couple games, got the experience being away from home and lived with a billet mom, she was an older lady.”

Rivet lived in a small town called Russell, Manitoba, which has a population of 400 people and where everyone knew each other.

Going out West was also in hope to get scouted by British Columbia Hockey League teams, a Junior A Hockey League under the Hockey Canada umbrella just like the MJHL is. Rivet said that route may not be an option right now because of the coronavirus pandemic.


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