Array

Fleury heeds call for Canada

Haydn Fleury wasn’t necessarily sitting by his phone Sunday night, but he was awaiting a call. Sure enough, his phone rang and the Hockey Canada person on the other end had good news for the Red Deer Rebels defenceman.

Haydn Fleury wasn’t necessarily sitting by his phone Sunday night, but he was awaiting a call.

Sure enough, his phone rang and the Hockey Canada person on the other end had good news for the Red Deer Rebels defenceman.

“I was a bit nervous last night, like I’m sure everyone was,” Fleury said Monday, less than 24 hours after learning that he will attend the Canadian junior national team final selection camp Dec. 11-15 in Toronto and St. Catharines, Ont. “Just to get that phone call was a bit relieving.

“It’s a huge honour to have the chance to represent my country. It’s always been a dream of mine to play for Canada at Christmas time.”

The 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship will be played Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Toronto and Montreal.

Fleury has yet to reach the pinnacle of his game this season, but stood out at the national squad’s summer development camp and was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes seventh overall in June’s NHL entry draft. The six-foot-three, 205-pound rearguard also has a history with Hockey Canada, playing for Team West in the World Under 17 Challenge and twice suiting up with the country’s under-18 team.

The 18-year-old has scored once and added nine assists with 37 minutes in penalties in 24 games this season. He’s also a minus-7 in the plus/minus category, but his play has improved over the past handful of games and he realizes he’ll have to be at his best going into the selection camp.

“I have to start preparing to play the right way leading into the camp. If I can do that and help the Rebels win games, I’ll have some momentum going into the camp.

“I think I’ve been playing pretty good lately. I kind of had a slow start to the season but my game has been coming around and I’ve been playing with a lot more confidence. And helping the Rebels win games is always a bonus.”

The Rebels have been a force at home this season. The club is riding an eight-game home-ice winning streak and is 9-3-1-0 at the Centrium heading into tonight’s clash with the visiting Calgary Hitmen.

“We’ve established dominance on home ice this year. That wasn’t the case last season so it’s really nice to see this year,” said Fleury. “We’re on a bit of a run and we’re going to try to keep that going.”

The Rebels’ secret to success is actually quite uncomplicated, said the Rebels blueliner.

“We’re just playing our style,” he said. “We’re not the most skilled team in the league, we’re not going to wow people with toe drags or anything like that.

“We’re just going to keep playing a straight-line game and work teams down low. We have three lines that can dominate any defence corps down low and we’re just going to keep doing that and generate offence that way.”

The Red Deer blueline brigade has also been a strength this season.

“I think we have the most depth on D than any team in the league,” Fleury insisted. “We have three pairings that can make plays any night and shut down the other team’s lines. It’s been really exciting to see.”

Fleury will attend the national team selection camp with the intention of not only earning a berth with the squad, but securing a spot on the roster as a go-to guy.

“I feel there’s not doubt that I can play at that level and that’s my goal — to be not just a player on the team but a key player who is used in all situations,” he said.

Just Posted

WATCH: Property taxes in Red Deer will go up 2.02 per cent in 2018

City council passes a “tough” budget that maintains most service levels

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more provincial funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by FCSS

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month