Over the summer, the Carleton Ravens men’s hockey team brought in six new recruits: Matt Barberis, Mark Grametbauer, Jaeger White, Cole Carter, Parker AuCoin and Kody McDonald.
With McDonald’s first year on the team comes the chance to reunite with his former Prince George Cougars teammates Brogan O’Brien and Aaron Boyd.
With Boyd being drafted into the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2012 and McDonald being drafted in 2013, their draft years gave them the chance to both start out on the Cougars for the 2014-15 season.
“He was 16, I was 17, so we were both part of the same rookie class, so we went to school together, we had to do all our rookie duties together too. So, I got to know him pretty well,” Boyd said.
The following year, in 2015-16, O’Brien joined the Cougars and would spend the next two-and-a-half years with McDonald, until McDonald got traded to the Prince Albert Raiders.
“It was good. I got to know both of them pretty well. I played with Kody before he got traded. He did pretty well. He’s good, and I liked playing with him,” O’Brien said.
Throughout their time with McDonald, O’Brien and Boyd both noticed the type of player he is.
“Kody’s a really great player. I played with him for a while, so we got some good chemistry going. He’s smart, he makes a lot of plays, powerplay, PK, a good all-around player,” O’Brien said.
Following McDonald’s trade to the Raiders halfway through the 2017-18 season, O’Brien and Boyd would continue to play for the Cougars until the end of the season.
Starting in the 2018-19 season, O’Brien and Boyd would join the Ravens as McDonald continued to play in the WHL for the Raiders and the Victoria Royals.
As the 2018-19 season wound down for McDonald, he chose to commit to the Ravens in large part due to O’Brien and Boyd playing there.
“I had a couple former teammates, Brogan O’Brien and Aaron Boyd that play on the team, and they honestly couldn’t say one negative thing about this place, so, they’ve always seemed to make good decisions, so they’re good guys to trust,” McDonald said.
“It’s a lot easier for him to get a feel for the school hearing it from guys on the team rather than just coming on a visit and talking to the coaches, so, I think it was nice for him to hear two sides of how it is here from us and the coaches, and it made his decision a lot easier for him,” O’Brien said about McDonald’s transition.
With McDonald joining the Ravens, his new adventure gives him the opportunity to play with O’Brien and Boyd for the next four years. A chance to get to know them better.
“We already had a relationship before, and it’s just going to grow stronger throughout the next four years as we’ll be playing together, so I’m excited to see how this year is going to pan out and years after to come,” Boyd said.
Although McDonald’s Carleton experience will be the first time he’s played out East, he is already closer to the team due to knowing O’Brien and Boyd.
“It makes it a lot easier for him. Especially away from the rink having somebody to already hang out with. It makes the transition to get to know everybody else a lot easier,” O’Brien said.
Furthermore, the Ravens exhibition trip to Europe this week will give McDonald the chance to bond with the rest of his new teammates.
“Also, the bonding experience with the guys, you know, you get 30 guys together like that and you’re on an airplane, you’re together 10-11 days before the season starts, it’s just a great way to bond traveling through Europe and seeing other countries, so I’m excited,” McDonald said.
This article also appears in The Charlatan