Array

Array

Dieno dynamite for Rebels

There was a time, not so long ago, when Rhyse Dieno was in the ‘best-kept-secret’ category. My, how times have changed.

There was a time, not so long ago, when Rhyse Dieno was in the ‘best-kept-secret’ category.

My, how times have changed.

Since arriving in Red Deer in mid-November, the 19-year-old forward has sniped 21 goals and collected 40 points in 34 WHL games. He trails only captain and linemate Turner Elson in team scoring and has in every way proven to be a bargain for Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, who lured the native of Davidson, Sask., to Red Deer with a phone call and gave up nothing for his services.

“It seems like just the other day that I drove into Red Deer,” Dieno said Tuesday at the Centrium, where the Rebels will entertain the Prince George Cougars tonight. “I remember coming into town and going to the wrong rink. I had the Kinex typed into my phone. I didn’t know what this rink was called and when I showed up at the Kinex I realized it couldn’t be the main rink.

“Time has gone by quickly and I really enjoy being here.”

This isn’t the first WHL rodeo for Dieno, who played 16 games with the Kamloops Blazers as a 16-year-old before spending the 2010-11 season at the junior A level with the SJHL La Ronge Ice Wolves, with whom he had 12 goals and 30 points in 36 games.

Dieno went on to join the Medicine Hat Tigers and after starting last season on the third line, moved up to the top unit with Emerson Etem and Dylan Bredo when Hunter Shinkaruk suffered a concussion. That’s when he took off.

“When I was playing with Etem and Bredo I had something like nine points in six games,” said Dieno, who then endured a shoulder injury in January and was lost for the remainder of a season in which he picked up a total of 11 points (4-7) in 50 games.

“I was finally starting to hit my stride when I took a weird hit from (Alex) Gogolev in a game against Calgary and my shoulder popped out,” said Dieno. “I could have returned if we had won the fourth game against Moose Jaw (in the playoffs). I trained hard all summer and was looking forward to having a good year with the Tigers, playing a lot and being a point a game player.”

Instead, Dieno got his pink slip last fall as Medicine Hat decided to go with a younger lineup and the five-foot-nine, 170-pound winger headed back to La Ronge.

“I was pretty frustrated,” he said.

His play didn’t show that, as Dieno struck for 12 goals and 21 points in 15 games with the Ice Wolves and on Nov. 1 was one of just two SJHL players named to Team Canada West for the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, N.S., where he scored once and added four assists in four games as Team West settled for silver.

It was also on Nov. 1 that Dieno got a call from Sutter, who expressed great interest in bringing the talented forward to Red Deer.

“I checked my voice mail and there was a call from Brent Sutter that kind of made my day,” said Dieno. “I was excited about coming back to the Dub.”

Dieno wondered if Sutter wanted him right away, but the Rebels boss insisted that he compete in the World Junior A Challenge before reporting to the WHL club.

“Brent gave me another chance to play in the league and things have worked out,” said Dieno. “It’s gone way beyond what I thought it would. If you would have told me last fall that I’d have 21 goals in half a season in the WHL, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

Upon his arrival in Red Deer, Dieno was thrust on to the top line with Elson and Brooks Maxwell and the unit has had very few so-so outings.

“It’s definitely been going well and I’d love to be with the Red Deer Rebels next year too,” said Dieno. “This is a great place to play hockey. The fans are unreal.”

Sutter will certainly welcome Dieno back with open arms next fall.

“He’s been a real good player for us and he’s another example of a player who has developed at a later stage,” said Sutter. “I had never seen him play but Randy (Rebels director of scouting/player development Peterson) and Shaun (senior scout Sutter) did some research and then went and watched him.

“They told me he was the type of player I was looking for and I agreed to give him a look, give him a shot. I didn’t care if he was 18 or 19, it didn’t matter to me. He had played in the league before and sometimes a player can change dramatically just by being one more year mature. He’s now our leading goal-scorer and is averaging more than a point a game.”

Impressive, considering Dieno didn’t cost Sutter more than a phone call.

“He’s been a great find for us,” said Sutter. “It’s exciting to have him here and it’s going to be exciting to have him here next year as a 20-year-old, too. Hopefully, if things continue to progress we can get him a shot at playing pro hockey. He’s worked for it this year.”

Sutter said Dieno wasn’t a perfect player when he joined the Rebels and is still learning how to play away from the puck, although his progression in that department has been impressive.

“He had a lot to learn coming in, he had to learn how to play without the puck and be responsible that way,” said Sutter. “That’s been a learning curve for him, but the great thing is he’s been willing to do it and he wants to do it . He also knows that there’s a lot I put on his shoulders that is impactful for us in a good way. I want him to be responsible and be a leader on our team and he has the skill set to be the difference in a game. He’s scored some big goals this year.”

l Former Rebels netminder Darcy Kuemper made his NHL debut with the Minnesota Wild Tuesday against the host Vancouver Canucks.

Rebels

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Almost half of Alberta's population should have at least one shot by the end of May said Premier Jason Kenney Monday morning.
Alberta poised for economic ‘renaissance’ after pandemic, says premier

Economic recovery is Alberta’s “next big challenge,” says the province’s premier. “It’s… Continue reading

Red Deer has a new welcome sign at the south end at the new entrance from Hwy 2. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Red Deer ranks 241st on MacLean’s Best Communities list

The list features 415 Canadian communities

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

A FedEx worker loads the 255,600 doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine which came from Europe into a freezer trailer to be transported during the COVID-19 pandemic at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada’s incoming vaccine supply from Moderna will… Continue reading

Energy Minister Sonya Savage speaks during an event to mark the start of right-of-way construction for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, in Acheson, Alta., Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. A committee that is supposed to consult Albertans on coal development in the Rocky Mountains won't be able to ask questions about water or land use. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta coal consultation terms of reference rule out land use, water concerns

Alberta coal consultation terms of reference rule out land use, water concerns

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Have an opinion you'd like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
Letter: MLAs who are against tougher restrictions have no plan for consequences

The group of UCP MLAs pushing to end lockdowns are exacerbating what… Continue reading

Former Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair leaves the police station after being charged with two counts of sexual assault dating back to 2014, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Preliminary inquiry in September for ex-PQ leader Boisclair charged with sex assault

MONTREAL — Former Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair will have a preliminary… Continue reading

Three vials of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine are pictured in a new coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccination center at the Velodrome-Stadium in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Sohn, pool
Trudeau sending help to Ontario as Pfizer vaccine supply bolstered by 8 million doses

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says more doses of COVID-19 vaccines are coming… Continue reading

Teachers demonstrate outside a school during a morning walk out in Longueuil, Que., Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Around 73,000 Quebec teachers say they will walk off the job for several hours on April 27. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
73,000 Quebec teachers plan to walk off the job for more than two hours April 27

MONTREAL — Around 73,000 Quebec teachers say they will walk off the… Continue reading

People line up in the rain for a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up clinic at the Masjid Darus Salaam in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood in Toronto on Sunday, April 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario science advisers urge six-week stay-home order as province pleads for help

TORONTO — Ontario’s science advisers called for a six-week stay-at-home order and… Continue reading

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Students in Alberta town ready to return to school after quarantining

ATHABASCA, Alta. — A superintendent of schools in northern Alberta says the… Continue reading

Britain’s Prince Charles, with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visits the gardens of Marlborough House, London, Thursday April 15, 2021, to look at the flowers and messages left by members of the public outside Buckingham Palace, following the death of Prince Philip. (Jeremy Selwyn/Pool via AP)
Princes William, Harry won’t walk side-by-side at funeral

LONDON — Prince William and Prince Harry won’t walk side-by-side Saturday as… Continue reading

Most Read