Red Deer Rebels GM Brent Sutter continued to change the face of his team on Sunday, acquiring heads-up defenceman Brady Gaudet from the Kamloops Blazers in return for a third-round pick in the 2013 WHL bantam draft.
“He’s a player who moves the puck well and skates well,” said Sutter of the 18-year-old Gaudet, who was the Blazers’ first-round pick — 10th overall — in the 2009 bantam draft and is in his third WHL season.
“He has decent size (five-foot-11 and 190 pounds) and he has experience. I know he hasn’t put up big offensive numbers but he’s a kid who we feel can really start bringing that now and he’ll be given that chance with us.”
Gaudet had five assists in 12 games with the Blazers this season and has seven goals and 34 points to his credit in 117 games with Kamloops.
Sutter is convinced that he’s increased the Rebels’ talent level with the acquisition of Gaudet, a native of Redvers, Sask.
“I want to continue to make our team more skilled,” said Sutter. “That’s been part of the process . . . bringing more skill to our hockey team.
“He’s a guy who can move the puck, can skate back to get it and can move it. I’ve seen him play twice and Randy (Rebels director of scouting/player development Peterson) has watched him too. That’s the one thing he does really well — he skates back to get the puck and moves it really well back up the ice.
“It’s an element we needed to add to our hockey team.”
Gaudet is expected to be in the Red Deer lineup when the Rebels host the Regina Pats on Tuesday at 7 p.m.