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Opportunity knocks for new Rebels Kopeck

BRANDON — Rhyse Dieno boarded the Red Deer Rebels team bus Sunday evening but might not play during the club’s four-game Western Hockey League road trip starting here tonight.

The Rebels’ second-leading scorer suffered a cut to his thigh during Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors and didn’t return to the game. He’s listed as day-to-day on the Rebels’ weekly injury report.

While Dieno didn’t skate Monday and therefore is unlikely to play tonight, winger Presten Kopeck is slated to make his Rebels debut against the Wheat Kings.

Kopeck, who underwent hernia surgery in early December, was acquired from the Portland Winterhawks in return for the rights to defenceman Matt Dumba and a pair of second-round bantam draft picks, a deal that seems likely to come to fruition following a report out of Minnesota that the Wild will send Dumba to Portland.

Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher told Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the team is “leaning toward” assigning Dumba to the Winterhawks now that the former Rebel has returned to the NHL club after suiting up for Team Canada in the world junior tournament in Sweden.

Dumba will first see a Wild team doctor after being injured during the tournament and catching a virus that led to weight loss.

Rookie forwards Meyer Nell and Adam Musil will be back in the Red Deer lineup tonight after playing for Team West and Team Pacific in the World Under 17 Challenge, and forward Dominik Volek — who was with the Czech Republic squad in the world junior championship — will rejoin the Rebels for the second game of the trip Wednesday at Regina.

Forwards Brooks Maxwell (upper body, week-to-week) and Christian Stockl (upper body, indefinite) did not make the trip. Meanwhile, the Rebels have reassigned affiliate players Earl Webb and Brayden Burke to the AJHL Calgary Mustangs and the midget AAA Edmonton Canadian Athletic Club.

The Rebels also play Friday at Moose Jaw and Saturday at Regina. Red Deer’s next home game is Jan. 17 versus the Calgary Hitmen.

l The Victoria Royals strengthened their back end Monday with the acquisition of 19-year-old defenceman Travis Brown from Moose Jaw. Brown, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect, cost the Royals two second-round bantam draft picks and the rights to 15-year-old Noah Gregor, who sits third in Alberta Midget League scoring with 35 points (12-13) in 27 games.

In another Monday deal, the Lethbridge Hurricanes sent forward Remi Laurencelle to the Everett Silvertips for a sixth-round bantam draft pick in 2014 and a conditional pick.

 
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