Just when it looked like the Red Deer Rebels were going to proceed without a splash or even a ripple on WHL trade deadline day, GM and head coach Brent Sutter dropped a blockbuster deal.
The Rebels announced they had acquired Regina Pats forward Lane Zablocki, 18, defenceman Dawson Barteaux, 16, a first round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, a first round pick in either 2017 or 2018, and a third round conditional pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft around 2:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. Central time).
The Rebels sent defenceman Josh Mahura,18, Jeff de Wit, 18, and a conditional third round pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft to the Pats.
Zablocki adds another layer of scoring depth for the Rebels after the team acquired Austin Glover last week. He put up 25 points in 33 games this year with Regina, and had seven goals for the Pats in 12 playoff games last year.
The six-foot, 184-pound forward also bolsters an already heavy forward unit for the Rebels. The move gives Red Deer six forwards who are at least six-foot and over 180-pounds.
The Rebels lose one of their top minute-logging defenceman in Mahura. The 18-year-old was drafted in the third round of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Anaheim Ducks.
The move also sent Red Deer-product de Wit to Regina. In 174 WHL games with the Rebels, the 18-year-old had 14 goals and 31 assists. He was drafted by the Rebels in the first round of the WHL Bantam Draft back in 2013. He had nine points in 36 games this year.
The move brings in another young defenceman in Barteaux, a first round, 14th overall pick of Regina in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
Between Jacob Herauf, Alexander Alexeyev and Barteaux, the Rebels now have three defenceman eligible for the 2018 NHL draft.