Rebels get grit and offence in swap with ‘Canes

Grit and offence. Riley Sheen brings both as the newest member of the Red Deer Rebels. “He gives us some more punch up front and he plays a greasy game too,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, who on Monday acquired Sheen, a 20-year-old winger, from the struggling Lethbridge Hurricanes in return for overage forward/defenceman Devan Fafard and 17-year-old centre Brayden Burke.

Grit and offence.

Riley Sheen brings both as the newest member of the Red Deer Rebels.

“He gives us some more punch up front and he plays a greasy game too,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, who on Monday acquired Sheen, a 20-year-old winger, from the struggling Lethbridge Hurricanes in return for overage forward/defenceman Devan Fafard and 17-year-old centre Brayden Burke.

“He’s a hard player to play against. After I made the trade, some of our players said they didn’t like playing against him.”

Sheen, an Edmonton native, played four games with Medicine Hat as a 16-year-old and 46 games with the Tigers the following season. He was dealt to the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2012 and put up 13 goals and 40 points that season, then was traded to the Hurricanes during the 2013-14 campaign.

Sheen registered 16 goals and 41 points in 49 games with Lethbridge last winter and has 23 points (3-20) in 27 games this season. He was the ‘Canes’ leading scorer when he was dealt Monday.

The five-foot-11, 166-pound forward has produced 36 goals and 115 points in 209 WHL regular-season games and two goals and six points in 15 playoff contests.

“This kid can give us offence,” said Sutter. “He’s a top-nine forward and he can play any one of the forward positions. At the end of the day we’ve added to our team in a different way. We’ve added more offence and someone who, although he’s not an overly big guy, plays big.

“He’s a play-hard guy with skill and he can really skate.”

Parting with the hard-nosed Fafard, who’s been with the Rebels since 2011 and was converted from a defenceman to a fourth-line forward this season, was difficult, Sutter admitted.

“The tough thing with ‘Faf’. . . the hard thing about this trade from our perspective is that we’re trading a great guy with tremendous character. He’s been a really good team guy,” said the Rebels bench boss.

“But with where we’re at with our back end, he wasn’t able to play his natural position. We had him playing both left wing and right wing. He did fine with that but it wasn’t something he was comfortable with. He’s disappointed to be leaving but he understood the situation and he realizes that he has a chance now to play his normal position. His role here was limited and this is a chance for him to play a bigger role.”

Fafard is currently out with an upper body injury and his return date is uncertain.

Burke, selected by the Rebels in the seventh round of the 2012 WHL bantam draft, played two games with the Rebels last season and appeared in one game with the club this fall before suffering a leg injury that will keep him sidelined another two to three weeks.

The five-foot-10, 155-pound centre had 19 goals and 47 points in 31 games with his midget AAA club in Edmonton last winter. But Sutter didn’t see him earning full-time employment with the Rebels this season or even next.

“With Burke, he’s a 17-year-old who if he’s going to play in the league he has to be a top-nine guy, and with our depth up front he wasn’t going to play that here this year and there’s a chance he wasn’t going to next year,” said Sutter.

“Lethbridge wants to get a bit younger and Burke can add to that.”

The Rebels also received a conditional bantam draft pick in the deal. The pick will depend on Burke’s performance with the ‘Canes.

“Basically this is a trade that’s a win-win for everyone,” said Sutter. “Riley comes here and gets a chance to play on a different type of team in a different environment and the other kids go there (Lethbridge) and have a chance to play.

“Riley is very excited about coming here.”

Sheen will be in the Rebels’ lineup when the Calgary Hitmen visit the Centrium tonight.

Just Posted

Red Deer garage owner finds kitten trapped under truck

Jeff Roberts, owner of Wrenchmasters AutoPro in Red Deer, brought the kitten to the SPCA

This is spring?

Central Albertans have been getting a taste of summer four weeks early

Red Deer arm wrestler steps onto big stage

World Armwrestling League’s deal with streaming service gives Matt Mask a chance to shine

Spring flooding not necessarily a sign that worse to come

Rain is the main culprit when June mountain snowmelt turns into flooding

WATCH: Red Deer walks to reduce stigma associated with schizophrenia

First annual Strides for Hope walk takes place across Alberta

Central Alberta athletes shine on the track at CASAA Zone Track and Field Championships

Lindsay Thurber Raiders athlete Hayley Lalor took the win in the senior girls individual aggregate

Businesses, project recieve award for efforts to improve Central Alberta air quality

Three organizations will be recognized for the work they have done to… Continue reading

Trudeau defends $600-million price tag for G7 summit in Quebec town of La Malbaie

LA MALBAIE, Que. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending the hefty… Continue reading

Weather now co-operating with evacuation of fire-threatened communities

WINNIPEG — The weather is now co-operating with efforts to evacuate some… Continue reading

Canadian auto sector observers doubt U.S. will carry through on tariff threat

Canadian auto industry observers are reacting with shock and disbelief to news… Continue reading

Bus bursts into flames on parkway; driver, passengers safe

HOLMDEL, N.J. — Authorities say a bus driver and about two dozen… Continue reading

Facebook won’t pay compensation for Cambridge Analytica case

BRUSSELS — Facebook said Thursday it will not compensate users in the… Continue reading

Five standout tracks from Shawn Mendes’ vulnerable new self-titled album

TORONTO — Shawn Mendes is slowly letting the world capture a glimpse… Continue reading

Canadians confused about GM foods, support mandatory labelling: study

HALIFAX — The vast majority of Canadians believe genetically modified foods should… 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