Riley McKay played 60 games in the 2015-16 season with his hometown Swan Valley Stampeders where he scored 12 times while adding 23 assists.
Then, the Swan River native made the jump up to the Western Hockey League as he joined the Spokane Chiefs the following season where he played two full seasons before he was dealt to the Saskatoon Blades where Riley then played another two seasons.
McKay was also an assistant captain for Saskatoon in his last season and it was a career year for McKay as he scored 19 times while adding 19 assists.
His junior journey came to an end in 2020; however, his hockey journey was far from over as Riley turned professional the following year where he played five games in the ECHL with the Indy Fuel and he also suited up in 12 American Hockey League games with the Rockford IceHogs.
Now three years after beginning his professional career, McKay is coming off another busy season that was well travelled.
Riley began this past season at the Chicago Blackhawks camp before he was sent down to the Rockford IceHogs where he took part in main camp and played some exhibition action. McKay then found himself back in Indy where he would play two more games before he was traded to the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League.
McKay was then sent down to the Trois-Rivières Lions of the ECHL and McKay scored eight times in 25 games with them while adding two assists.
After playing in those 25 games, Riley was once again on the move as he was called up by the AHL's Rocket and that's where he would end the season. All in all, Riley spent time with four different teams throughout the 2022-23 campaign.
"That's kind of part of the game, it's how it goes sometimes," said McKay. "Going to a new organization in Laval and not knowing anyone, it was a little tough to adjust at first but everyone was pretty welcoming."
McKay ended the season by playing 23 games with Laval, recording a pair of goals and five assists to go along with 118 penalty minutes. In a pair of games that had a little extra hype and buzz to them, Riley made his return to Manitoba as the Rocket headed to Manitoba's capital for two games against the Moose on March 26 and 28 at Canada Life Centre. McKay had a large group of family and friends that made their way to the rink to show their support and the Rocket won both games, scoring 10 times while giving up just four.
It was a short trip back to his home province, but it was an extremely special one for the Swan River native.
"It was awesome to be able to play close to home and play in front of my family and friends," offered McKay. "I had a chance to visit with family and it was great, I was happy to have that opportunity."
Those two wins in Winnipeg proved to be the start of a red-hot patch for McKay and the rest of the Rocket as they won their final five games of the season as they qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Laval won 33 of their 72 games and finished fifth in the North Division. After dropping their first playoff game against Utica in the best of three, the Rocket led 1-0 in game two, but their season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion.
Utica scored with just two seconds left in regulation to tie it and they scored the game and series winner just 2:45 into overtime. It may have been a tough ending to the season, but McKay is happy with how the team played down the stretch just to make it into the playoffs.
"It was awesome, we knew we had a chance to make it down the stretch because things were so close," ended McKay. "We caught fire when we needed to and got the job done. It was pretty cool to be a part of and it was a great experience."
Riley is now back in Manitoba as he prepares for the 2023-24 season, wherever that may land him.