This month’s Alberta Elite Hockey League Alumni Spotlight features Reid Duke, formerly of the Calgary Royals.
CALGARY – Originally from Calgary, Reid grew up playing his minor hockey for the Trails West Hockey Association. He first found a love for the game when he was just three or four years old, skating on a make-shift rink at his uncle’s horse barn just outside of the city.
“Hockey has given me a career, countless opportunities and incredible relationships,” Reid said. “My minor hockey experience taught me how to love hockey, and made me want to do it the rest of my life.”
As he made the transition from grassroots to elite hockey, Reid joined the Calgary Royals association, playing for the U15 AAA Royals from 2009-2011, and the U18 AAA Royals for the 2011-2012 season. In 2011, he won the Alberta Cup with Calgary South, alongside future NHLers Adin Hill and Brayden Point, which he points to as his favourite memory from his early playing days. In that same year, won gold with Team Alberta at the WHL Cup. Reid would also go on to represent Team Canada Pacific at the 2013 Under-17 World Hockey Championship, earning a silver medal.
Reid was drafted fifth overall by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 2011 WHL Draft, and played two full seasons with the team from 2012-2014, and was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild, before being traded to the Brandon Wheat Kings, where he played his final three seasons of junior hockey, which included a WHL Championship and trip to the Memorial Cup in the 2015-16 season.
During his final year with the Wheat Kings in the 2016-17 season, Reid was signed by the newly-formed Vegas Golden Knights, becoming the first player signing in franchise history. He currently still plays for the Golden Knight’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights.
“My advice for any kid starting out in hockey would be to try and be as disciplined as you can, and to focus on getting a little better every day,” Reid said.