Array

Bobyk healthy and happy

Now that he’s playing on two healthy knees, Colton Bobyk has a leg up on his opponents. The Red Deer Rebels defenceman underwent surgery on his left knee in late April and is off to an impressive offensive start this season with two goals and five points in as many games. The Rimbey native is a good skater with a heavy shot, and for the first time in a year is playing with the confidence that should be commonplace with a Western Hockey League veteran.

Now that he’s playing on two healthy knees, Colton Bobyk has a leg up on his opponents.

The Red Deer Rebels defenceman underwent surgery on his left knee in late April and is off to an impressive offensive start this season with two goals and five points in as many games. The Rimbey native is a good skater with a heavy shot, and for the first time in a year is playing with the confidence that should be commonplace with a Western Hockey League veteran.

“It was a big decision last season regarding whether I would have the surgery, but I’m glad I had it,” the 19-year-old former Red Deer midget AAA Optimist Chiefs star said Thursday. “My knee feels a lot better than it did. It took time during the summer to recover, but it’s stronger now.

“My left knee feels stronger than my right knee. I feel more confident now after having the surgery.”

Bobyk’s knee problem started last fall while he was preparing for his second full season with the Spokane Chiefs. As a result, he appeared in only eight games with the Chiefs — scoring once and adding three helpers — before being dealt to the Rebels in December.

“My kneecap popped out during the preseason and then it happened again around Christmas,” he said. “Once it popped out the first time, it was always going to happen again.”

He eventually returned to action with Red Deer and showed his offensive talents by contributing 11 points (4g,7a) in 22 regular-season games and adding a goal and an assist in five playoff outings.

“I wore a brace and put tape on it. I held it together as much as I could through the season before having surgery,” he said.

The rehab was along and arduous.

“I didn’t start skating until the beginning of August,” he said. “That was tough, not being able to skate with the other guys.”

But that’s all in the past. The six-foot-two-, 198-pound blueliner is healthy and happy and is displaying the offensive talents he’s always had.

“Getting the surgery done was huge,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “Instead of playing at 60 per cent like he was when we acquired him, he’s back to 100 per cent.

“With him, it’s a confidence thing knowing that his knee is fine now. He’s a very strong player with his shot and his offensive presence and he’s a 19-year-old so expectations are higher than they were when he came in last year. We brought him in so he could be one of our key defencemen, and offensively he’s been that.”

Bobyk still needs some fine-tuning in order to become a more rounded rearguard, Sutter noted.

“Bobs just has to stay within the confines of a defenceman and let the game come to him instead of him pushing the game without the puck,” said the Rebels boss. “His positional play has to get better and we have to continue to work with him on that.

“But his discipline has been a lot better and obviously he’s given us good offensive production.”

The Rebels are coming off their first loss of the season — 5-2 at Lethbridge Tuesday — after opening with four wins, and are in Calgary tonight for the first half of a home-and-home set with the Hitmen that concludes with a Saturday contest at the Centrium.

Bobyk admitted the Rebels, as a team, were lacking in aggression and discipline at Lethbridge. The club didn’t come close to playing with the same intensity as was the case in the previous four games.

“It wasn’t just a few guys who weren’t very good, it was all of us,” he said. “It was a team thing, we just weren’t there. But we’ve regrouped and it won’t happen again.

“We worked hard in practice yesterday and we’ll be good for the weekend.”

Bobyk doesn’t foresee many down times for the Rebels — the 2016 Memorial Cup tournament hosts — this season if they play to their potential.

“I think we have one of the best defensive corps in the league and with our offence we’re going to score four, five, six goals a game. We have solid goaltending too,” he said.

Just Posted

Cruel and sadistic: Central Alberta dog rescuers believe there are dog fighting rings in province

With the increased number of stolen dogs, some central Alberta rescuers are… Continue reading

UPDATED: “I want to be your premier again”: Rachel Notley

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

Mixed Nuts revue presented Saturday to kick off first Carole Forhan Theatrical Scholarship

Broadway songs, comedy skits are part of the Red Deer Players production

Skunks smells are in the air in Red Deer

Medicine River Wildlife Centre receiving calls

Camper found in good health at Pinto Lake

Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue respond

Want to help bees? Plant flowering herbs

Herbs are among the most useful plants in nature. They can tantalize… Continue reading

UN: Gene editing for human reproduction is ‘irresponsible’

GENEVA — A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it… Continue reading

Photos: Three moose spotted in Red Deer Tuesday

Three moose were spotted in Red Deer Tuesday morning. Red Deer resident… Continue reading

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Florida Georgia Line, Glorious Sons headline concert series at Canadian Open

HAMILTON — Florida Georgia Line and the Glorious Sons will headline a… Continue reading

Family: Time to shed winter clothes and inhibitions

It has been a long, crazy cold winter. But, if the thermometer… Continue reading

Most Read