Array

Array

Doetzel quiet but effective

He’s not exactly the Invisible Man, but Kayle Doetzel also isn’t the most noticeable of the Red Deer Rebels’ defencemen. And considering his style of play, that’s a compliment.

He’s not exactly the Invisible Man, but Kayle Doetzel also isn’t the most noticeable of the Red Deer Rebels’ defencemen.

And considering his style of play, that’s a compliment.

“When you’re a defensive defenceman and you’re not overly visible, you’re usually doing the right things,” Rebels associate coach Jeff Truitt said Thursday, in reference to the third-year rearguard.

Doetzel will likely never put up enough points to be considered an offensive defenceman, but the Rebels’ first-round pick in the 2010 WHL bantam draft has evolved into a safe blueliner who also plays with an edge. The 18-year-old has yet to score in 22 games this season, but he has recorded four assists and racked up 38 minutes in penalties.

More importantly, his plus-7 rating in the often telling plus-minus category is a team best.

“That’s a good plus-minus number and I have to keep that up,” said Doetzel. “I just have to continue to be a stay-at-home, physical defenceman who shuts guys down and is hard to play against.

“It’s been a good year I suppose. Obviously we want to be winning a lot more games . . . the team always comes first. Other than that everything is going well.”

Doetzel was a member of the Canadian U18 team that won gold at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic in August of 2012 and was expected to carry that momentum over into the WHL season. Instead, his play plateaued somewhat and he was passed over in last June’s NHL entry draft.

To be fair, injuries limited Doetzel to 43 games in his rookie season of 2011-12 and 49 games last winter. The Nashville Predators were obviously convinced he still had pro potential, inviting the Rosetown, Sask., native to their rookie camp in early September.

Doetzel is convinced he returned to the Rebels with a better understanding of where and how much he needs to improve in order to one day earn a pro contract.

“Being at the rookie camp was a great experience. At that level you see a lot of good players and what it takes to be there,” he said. “You come back here and try to push yourself to be a player who can get to that next level.”

At the same time, Doetzel knows he has to play inside of his comfort zone. He won’t pretend to be something he isn’t.

“When I get a chance to join the rush I will, but I take pride in my defensive-zone play first,” he said. “Just be strong defensively, be hard to play against and keep the goals against down to none, if possible.”

His brief NHL experience serves as motivation, as does being overlooked in the entry draft.

“It just pushes you that much harder. You just want to prove everyone wrong,” he said.

Doetzel, as Truitt noted, is using his six-foot-three, 190-pound frame to greater advantage this season.

“The biggest thing we’ve seen out of Kayle this year from last year is he’s more physically engaged and playing more of a power game,” said Truitt. “He’s a defending type of defenceman who needs to just concentrate on what’s happening underneath his blueline.

“Any points that come because of that are a bonus, but we expect him to be an elite defender and a hard player to play against.”

Truitt insisted Doetzel’s plus-minus figure should not be overlooked.

“The biggest thing for a guy like him to concentrate on is the plus-minus. Did you do a good job against the lines you were up against? I think that’s a big key for him and it’s taken him to another level where last year he might not have played as hard or as physical because of the injuries he’s had. He’s overcome that stuff now and he’s playing with more power. “

The Rebels second-in-command bench boss is convinced that Doetzel has pro potential and could be a good fit with the right team.

“Someone has noticed him. He gets invited to Nashville’s camp, which is nice,” said Truitt. “He doesn’t sign a contract, but now he can go to any other team and they know he’s already been in a camp.

“He just needs to be one of those tough defending guys and some of those guys are very valuable to organizations.”

Rebels

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

Just Posted

The future of Westerner Park continues to be plagued by many unknowns, including when city council will make a decision about financing its operations. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Red Deer city council delays making decision on Westerner Park financing

It will mean missing the next opportunity to apply for a provincial loan

Nineteen-year-old Amanda enjoys a ride during a visit to Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. photo submitted
Busy days at Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler

The ranch, which launched operations last summer, provides support through animal interaction

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer at the announcement that the city will be getting a drug treatment court Thursday. Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions, looks on.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Veer concerned about rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is reminding citizens to protect themselves against… Continue reading

Rode
Volunteering played major role in RDC awards

Under normal circumstances, the RDC Red Deer Bottling Athlete of the Year… Continue reading

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady passes under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Lawmakers are debating legislation to legalize single-event betting as a bill reaches final reading in the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Humphrey
Bill on single-game sports betting on cusp of passing — but not for first time

Bill on single-game sports betting on cusp of passing — but not for first time

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
More supply needed to ease housing price crunch, but always more to do, Freeland says

More supply needed to ease housing price crunch, but always more to do, Freeland says

Letisha Reimer is shown in a photo, part of a memorial to her outside Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in Abbotsford, B.C., Monday, Nov.7, 2016. A B.C. Supreme Court judge is expected to deliver her decision today over whether a man who stabbed two high school students is not criminally responsible because he had a mental disorder. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geordon Omand
Man who stabbed two students in Abbotsford, B.C., found criminally responsible

Man who stabbed two students in Abbotsford, B.C., found criminally responsible

Light from the sunset hits the skyline in Toronto, Ont., on Tuesday October 31, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
Hate crimes jumped 51 per cent in part spurred by pandemic, Toronto police report

Hate crimes jumped 51 per cent in part spurred by pandemic, Toronto police report

A passenger from Air India flight 187 from New Delhi arrives at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Wednesday April 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canada to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days

Canada to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days

Inter Pipeline's Heartland Petrochemical Complex in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. is shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Inter Pipeline *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Hostile takeover target Inter Pipeline reports 60% of Heartland plant is contracted

Hostile takeover target Inter Pipeline reports 60% of Heartland plant is contracted

Smoke pours from the stacks at the Portlands Energy Centre in Toronto on Thursday January 15, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Most Read