New faces will make Rebels debut Friday
The latest addition to the Red Deer Rebels lineup was still Alberta bound on Wednesday afternoon.
Defenceman Brandon Underwood, acquired from the Regina Pats on Tuesday for a fourth-round pick in next year’s Western Hockey League bantam draft, left the Queen City at 8 a.m. and was expected to arrive in Red Deer in the late afternoon or early evening.
Underwood will practise with his new teammates today and will be in the Rebels lineup for Friday night’s meeting with the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.
The 20-year-old rearguard will join forward Matt Bellerive as two new faces on the roster, while third-year blueliner Mathew Dumba will serve out a two-game suspension for a head hit last weekend and veteran overage forward Turner Elson is listed as questionable for the contest.
Elson suffered a lower body injury in last weekend’s 6-2 loss at Edmonton and carries a day-to-day status.
“Turner hasn’t skated this week. We’re just letting the injury heal and using the time off that we have to give him a rest,” said Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin. “But there’s certainly a chance that he can play Friday.”
If Elson isn’t ready for game action, Wallin won’t have to make a decision regarding which three 20-year-olds to dress.
The Rebels currently have four overage players on their roster — also including Underwood, captain Adam Kambeitz and fellow forward Charles Inglis — and have until Oct. 10 to get down to the league limit of three.
One player who definitely won’t play on Friday or apparently in the near future, is 17-year-old forward Wyatt Johnson, who was acquired from the Vancouver Giants a couple of weeks ago for a conditional bantam draft pick. Johnson is out indefinitely with a concussion he suffered after leaving the Giants’ camp, returning home and playing in the Saskatoon midget AAA Contacts intrasquad game.
Johnson has yet to start the concussion protocol.
“He can’t start until he has a sympton-free day. That hasn’t happened yet,” said Wallin. “He’s not skating . . . right now he’s basically in a holding pattern.
“We have him doing some different therapy while trying to rule out other causes, but really, right now it’s just a case of hurry up and wait.”
• The Giants added some scoring punch to their lineup on Wednesday with the acquisition of overage winger Trevor Cheek from the Calgary Hitmen.
Cheek is a third-year WHL veteran who scored 23 goals and collected 49 points with the Hitmen last season. The Giants gave up a fourth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft and a fifth-rounder in 2014 in return for the six-foot-two, 198-pound product of Vancouver, Wash.
• In the department of ‘some guys never learn’, Medicine Hat Tigers 20-year-old winger Kale Kessy was suspended for 12 games on Wednesday for being assessed a checking to the head major and game misconduct last week versus Lethbridge.
The length of the suspension should come as no surprise to the Tigers or Kessy, who is a multiple offender. As Kamloops Daily news sports editor Gregg Drinnan tweeted, Kessy has now been suspended for 26 games for seven incidents since Oct. 31 of 2009.