Scott Feser is the odd-man out.
The Red Deer Rebels traded the 20-year-old forward to the Swift Current Broncos on Thursday for a fourth round pick in the 2017 draft.
The Rebels went into the off-season with five 20 year-olds when they are allowed three.
They traded Connor Gay to the Saskatoon Blades during the WHL bantam draft to get to four, but took the last month and a half to decide who gave them the best opportunity for next year.
After close consideration, owner, general manager and head coach Brent Sutter decided to keep forwards Preston Kopeck and Wyatt Johnson and defenceman Kayle Doetzel over Feser, a Red Deer product.
“We went through it in pretty heavy discussion with what fit best with our team for the coming season,” he said. “Scotty is a real good player. With Kopeck, Johnny and Doetz, they give us something just a little bit different. But at no point did we look at the fact that we didn’t think Scotty could have been part of this. It was a tough decision when we got right down to it.”
Feser played parts of four seasons with the Rebels, scoring 77 points (32 goals, 44 assists) in 158 games with 92 penalty minutes. The five-foot-11, 179-pound winger was selected in the eighth round of the 2010 bantam draft by Red Deer after coming up through the Red Deer Minor Hockey Association system, including playing for the bantam AAA Rebels Black, the minor midget AAA IROC Chiefs and the midget AAA Optimist Chiefs.
He also played parts of two seasons with the Camrose Kodiaks and Okotoks Oilers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
“Scotty is a great young man and to me he’s always going to be a Red Deer Rebel,” said Sutter.
“I’m giving him an opportunity in his last year of junior hockey where he can playa prominent role, and in all likelihood a bigger role than he probably would have had here in Red Deer with us.”
With the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft on Tuesday, Sutter says they may also have some decisions to make yet on defenceman Mario Grman if they want to free up a spot to make a pick. On May 5 they sent a third round pick to the Everett Silvertips for 19-year-old forward Ivan Nikolishin.
“We have until Monday morning to decide that,” said Sutter.
“If we think there’s somebody there that might give us something that Mario doesn’t then we’ll seriously look at that.”