Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Rebels - Red Deer Rebel Jake Leschyshyn chases a loose puck during main camp black on white scrimmage on Friday.

Leschyshyn looking to learn

Jake Leschyshyn isn’t here for a long time; he’s here for a good learning time. Next year he’ll be in Red Deer for a long time. “He’s going to stay here with us next week, practise with the team and play the two (preseason) games next weekend in St. Albert,” said Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter in reference to the club’s first-round pick in this year’s WHL bantam draft, a player who — not surprisingly — stood out in rookie camp and was moved into main camp Friday.

Jake Leschyshyn isn’t here for a long time; he’s here for a good learning time.

Next year he’ll be in Red Deer for a long time.

“He’s going to stay here with us next week, practise with the team and play the two (preseason) games next weekend in St. Albert,” said Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter in reference to the club’s first-round pick in this year’s WHL bantam draft, a player who — not surprisingly — stood out in rookie camp and was moved into main camp Friday.

The Rebels simply couldn’t pass on the son of former NHL defenceman Curtis Leschyshyn when he was still available at No. 6 in May’s bantam draft. There have been no regrets, at least as far as Sutter and his scouts are concerned.

“He’s an all-around player with a great understanding of the game. He’s a very smart player, a good skater and he can shoot the puck,” said Sutter.

“There are guys on our team, older guys, who don’t have the details that Jake does.

“He comes from a super family and his dad played a long time in the NHL. His dad was a very detailed defenceman with some skill and Jake is no different. He’s a complete player.”

The younger Leschyshyn also has a dogged work ethic; he’s the Energizer Bunny on skates.

“He doesn’t stop and you can tell that that’s part of his DNA,” said Sutter.

Leschyshyn admitted Friday that he’s been all eyes and ears during his first appearance at a WHL camp.

“So far, so good,” he said of the enjoyment factor. “It’s been really fun to be here and see what the Rebels are all about. I’ve been able to meet some of the guys and see how the WHL is from a players’ standpoint.”

The 15-year-old Saskatoon native is looking forward to playing in Sunday’s 5 p.m. Black and White intrasquad game and the Rebels’ first two exhibition outings next weekend at St. Albert, against the Prince George Cougars and Swift Current Broncos.

“That will be a big step up for me, but it will be really fun to play against guys at this level,” he said.

Leschyshyn will suit up with the Saskatoon Blazers of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA League this season, with his father serving as an assistant coach. The future Rebel played a handful of games at the midget AAA level last season and more than held his own.

“It was good, I really enjoyed playing up with the more skilled and older players. Certainly the speed of the game was faster,” he said.

One year from now, Leschyshyn will be settling into a three- to four-year stint in Red Deer, enrolling in high school and getting acquainted with his billet family.

l The final Rebels rookie camp scrimmage is set for 9 a.m. today and Sutter has been nothing but impressed with the calibre of 15- and 16-year-old players on hand this year.

Big and skilled would be the definitive words for the overall roster of players who attended the 2014 freshman camp.

“The size part is a big factor, yet it’s not just size . . . it’s size with guys who can skate and have skill. That’s certainly encouraging,” said the Rebels boss.

“We have guys who have been invited to camp . . . guys who have really stood out, and that just shows how much they’ve improved over the last year and even the bantam draft in May. These are guys our scouts have recognized were bubble players for the draft and now look like they were draftable players.

“But that’s the thing with these young kids. You can’t get impatient with them, you can’t write them off. They can change within the span of one year.”

As a result, Sutter said the club will list as many as four to five undrafted players in early September.

Just Posted

Man facing charges in home invasion going to trial next March

A man charged accused of shooting someone in a home invasion is… Continue reading

Red Deer intersection to temporarily close on Sept. 24, 25

A Red Deer intersection at 40th Avenue and 47th Street will be… Continue reading

Lacombe-Ponoka to vote for UCP representative

Voting events in Ponoka and Lacombe this week

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trek to scale Alberta mountain ends in hospital for climbers caught in slide

JASPER, Alta. — Two people suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries when they… Continue reading

Surrey man wins $500K, plans to build house, buy toys and ‘nice dinner’

Sukhwinder Sidhu bought winning ticket at store in Newton

Nominations open again for Toronto election after province’s legal victory

TORONTO — Nominations are once again open for candidates wishing to take… Continue reading

The Gap steps into the men’s athleisure game

NEW YORK — The Gap is stepping in to the men’s athleisure… Continue reading

Giant bong, huggable buds: Marijuana museum opens in Vegas

LAS VEGAS — A glass bong taller than a giraffe. Huggable faux… Continue reading

Buoyant stocks lift US household wealth, mainly for affluent

WASHINGTON — A rising stock market lifted U.S. household wealth to a… Continue reading

Polish police looking for man who threw stone into synagogue

WARSAW, Poland — Polish police are looking for a man who threw… Continue reading

Uncertainty builds over fate of promised Indigenous chapter in NAFTA

OTTAWA — The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations is… Continue reading

Most Read