Array

Doetzel hoping to shake early injuries

If Kayle Doetzel was a cartoon character, he’d be Joe Btfspik, the jinxed, hard-luck individual from the old cartoon strip L’il Abner.

If Kayle Doetzel was a cartoon character, he’d be Joe Btfspik, the jinxed, hard-luck individual from the old cartoon strip L’il Abner.

The Red Deer Rebels defenceman has had a dark cloud looming over his head for some time now. He was limited to 14 games during his final season of midget AAA hockey in Saskatoon due to injuries and appeared in only 43 games last winter — his first in the WHL — for the same reason.

After playing with victorious Team Canada in the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in August, a healthy Doetzel was primed to elevate his game to a new level in 2012-13. But he endured a broken jaw during an Oct. 3 game at Saskatoon and will finally return to the Red Deer lineup tonight against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.

“When the season started I thought I was playing pretty well. But the season kind of got cut short when I was hurt after just six games,” said the Rosetown, Sask., product. “It’s tough when you’re sitting out. It’s not fun watching your team play and having to stay back when the team goes on the road. You’d rather be with the guys.

“I’ve had a lot of bad luck and hopefully it’s over now. I’m getting sick of the injuries.”

Speaking of hardships, Doetzel wasn’t particularly fond of having his jaw wired shut, which was the case for roughly six weeks.

“It seemed like forever,” he said. “My diet was all liquids, a lot of blended stuff like protein shakes. And a lot of soup too.”

As a result, Doetzel lost about 10 pounds, most of which he has since regained since the wire was removed on Nov. 14.

“I’m almost back up to my normal weight,” said the six-foot-three, 190-pound rearguard.

Central Scouting has Doetzel as the 14th-ranked WHL skater for the 2013 NHL entry draft. The second-year Rebel, of course, can improve that ranking with his performance in the coming weeks and months and particularly if he is one of the 40 players selected to compete in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 16 in Halifax.

“Hopefully I can impress the scouts when I get back in there,” he said.

“I’ll try to make the best of it and we’ll see what happens.”

Despite his history of injuries, Doetzel insisted he won’t alter his style when he returns to action tonight.

“I’ll just play my normal physical game, be a hard guy to play against,” he said.

Doetzel was the Rebels’ first-round pick — 12th overall — in the 2010 WHL bantam draft and remains a work in progress, which is not a knock on the youngster considering his age (17) and the fact he’s missed large chunks of the past and current season.

“He’s a young guy who’s still learning the game,” said Rebels general manager/head coach Brent Sutter.

“He’s definitely very dependable defensively and we still need to work with him on the offensive side of his game and on his overall sense of the game.

“He’s a young guy still learning that and he has to learn it playing at a high pace. But he’s a good kid. He’s willing to learn and we’re certainly pleased to have him back in our lineup.”

Just Posted

Fear of bats unnecessary despite rabies death

Bats are beneficial, says Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer

Gord Bamford Foundation golf classic returns to Red Deer

12th annual charity golf tournament to be held Aug. 7 and 8

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

VANCOUVER — A proposed high-speed rail link connecting Vancouver, Seattle and Portland… Continue reading

Man whose family died in Boeing 737 Max crash: Scrap the jet

A man who lost his wife, mother-in-law and three young children in… Continue reading

Technology beating romanticism at Tour de France

ALBI, France — With all the technology stacked against them, the six… Continue reading

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

No guarantee voters will flip in this fall’s federal election

The brief get-together of five conservative-minded premiers last week was meant to… Continue reading

Jennifer Abel makes Canadian history with silver medal at world championships

GWANGJU, Korea, Republic Of — Diver Jennifer Abel has set a Canadian… Continue reading

Slovakia to MLB draft: Canadian resident Macko takes unconventional road to pros

Seattle Mariners prospect Adam Macko didn’t lack confidence when he shared his… Continue reading

Jason Reitman shares ‘family’ photo on Calgary set of ‘Ghostbusters’

CALGARY — Director Jason Reitman is sharing a first glimpse of his… Continue reading

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

LOS ANGELES — Netflix has decided to remove a graphic suicide scene… Continue reading

Chavis’ grand slam helps Red Sox beat Blue Jays 10-8

BOSTON — Rookie Michael Chavis hit a grand slam, Xander Bogaerts had… Continue reading

You don’t feel alientated, Trudeau tells western Canadians

By David Marsden National unity is not being threatened by the federal… Continue reading

Group wants charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

CALGARY — An animal welfare group is renewing its call for cruelty… Continue reading

Most Read