Future of defence looks good as Rebels rookie camp closes

The Red Deer Rebels’ blueline will look much different in the 2016-17 season, with at least three defencemen slated to move on to the professional and possibly university ranks next year. But, based on their performance in this year’s main and rookie camps at the Centrium, there are several candidates who could potentially step in and fill those spots as early as next fall.

The Red Deer Rebels’ blueline will look much different in the 2016-17 season, with at least three defencemen slated to move on to the professional and possibly university ranks next year.

But, based on their performance in this year’s main and rookie camps at the Centrium, there are several candidates who could potentially step in and fill those spots as early as next fall.

“We have some really good young kids coming, kids who will fit in nicely on our blueline,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said Tuesday at the conclusion of rookie camp.

One of the prospective future rearguards, 16-year-old Ethan Sakowich, participated in main camp this year, as did 1999-born forwards Austin Pratt, who is expected to crack the 2015-16 lineup, Akash Bains and Tanner Sidaway, and goaltender Dawson Weatherill.

Even with the five 16-year-old prospects in main camp, the rookie sessions featured plenty of talent, noted Sutter.

“The reality is rookie camp would have looked different with those five players. We had five pretty good 16-year-olds who weren’t in rookie camp and that changes the look of your rookie camp to some degree.”

While Pratt will almost certainly be with the Rebels this season, the other four ‘99s attending main camp are a year or more away.

“They’ll definitely have a chance to make our team next year,” said Sutter.

The Rebels boss was impressed with the overall potential shown in rookie camp, citing the performance of all nine of the club’s 2015 bantam draft picks — defencemen Jacob Herauf, the team’s first-round selection, Jacob Thomson, Jace Foskey and Spencer McHardy, and forwards Eli Zummack, Chase Lowry, Brendan Budy, Brandon Cutler and Jake Mulder. All but Thomson and Mulder were promoted to main camp for tonight’s 7 p.m. Black and White Game.

“There were some other 16’s who looked really good — (defenceman Carson) Sass is one — and our draft picks from this year were all good,” said Sutter. “We’re happy with where we’re at with our younger players. They have speed and size and we also have some really good smaller players like Zummack and Budy.”

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read