Rebels add big body in trade with Blades

The Red Deer Rebels wanted a physical presence to add to their crop of younger players; the Saskatoon Blades were seeking a forward with offensive ability. Accordingly, the Western Hockey League clubs agreed to a Thursday trade that involved forwards Cory Millette and Evan Polei. Millette, 18, was reassigned to the Estevan Bruins last week after two seasons with the Rebels and scored two goals and added an assist in two games with the SJHL club, while Polei, 17, was pointless in two games with the Blades this fall but carries 228 pounds on a six-foot-one frame.

The Red Deer Rebels wanted a physical presence to add to their crop of younger players; the Saskatoon Blades were seeking a forward with offensive ability.

Accordingly, the Western Hockey League clubs agreed to a Thursday trade that involved forwards Cory Millette and Evan Polei. Millette, 18, was reassigned to the Estevan Bruins last week after two seasons with the Rebels and scored two goals and added an assist in two games with the SJHL club, while Polei, 17, was pointless in two games with the Blades this fall but carries 228 pounds on a six-foot-one frame.

Polei, a Wetaskiwin product, also played four games with the AJHL Sherwood Park Crusaders this season without collecting a point, but did show an offensive upside with the midget AAA Edmonton Southside Athletics last winter with 17 goals and 32 points in 34 games.

“He had a point per game in midget, he’s a physical presence and he fits into the role we were probably lacking in that 16- to 17-year-old age group,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “We felt we would need this type of player at some point in time.”

Polei will be in the Rebels lineup for home games tonight against the Prince Albert Raiders and Saturday versus the Spokane Chiefs.

Millette scored 19 goals and collected 40 points in 106 regular-season games with the Rebels and was a healthy scratch for two of the club’s first four games this fall before being sent to Estevan.

“Saskatoon was looking for someone they were hoping would give them a little more offence,” said Sutter. “With the young players we have this year, there just wasn’t room for ‘Millsy’ to be a top-nine forward here, especially with the way we want to play. “Hopefully, both teams are filling their needs with this trade.”

To make room for Polei, 17-year-old rookie forward Earl Webb was reassigned to the Calgary Mustangs of the AJHL. Webb played five games with the Rebels.

l The Rebels will welcome another new face to their lineup tonight with the addition of 18-year-old defenceman Nick Charif of Edmonton.

Charif also played with midget AAA Edmonton Southside last winter and registered five goals and 16 points in 42 regular-season and playoff games while racking up a team-leading 84 minutes in penalties.

Charif, six-foot and 195 pounds, appeared in nine games with the Victoria Grizzlies before leaving the BCHL team to join the Rebels. He scored once, added one assist and had six penalty minutes with the Grizzlys.

While adding Charif to the Red Deer roster, Sutter reassigned 17-year-old rookie rearguard Jake MacLachlan to the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the BCHL. MacLachlan played five games with the Rebels, recording one assist.

• Forward Cole Chorney will return to the Red Deer lineup tonight after sitting out the last two weeks due to an illness.

Defenceman Kolton Dixon is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion in Tuesday’s 2-1 home-ice loss to the Everett Silvertips, while forward Lukas Sutter is slated to return from an upper-body injury for Oct. 18 and 19 home games with the Edmonton Oil Kings and Calgary Hitmen.

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