Rebels take risk at import draft

Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter landed a probable impact forward in Tuesday’s CHL import draft, but Michael Spacek may never leave his mark with the Western Hockey League club. Spacek is still under contract to his Czech Extraliga team — HC Dynamo Pardubice — for the 2015-16 season, but Sutter decided the risk was worth the potential reward when he took Spacek with his first-round pick, 47th overall.

Array

Array

Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter landed a probable impact forward in Tuesday’s CHL import draft, but Michael Spacek may never leave his mark with the Western Hockey League club.

Spacek is still under contract to his Czech Extraliga team — HC Dynamo Pardubice — for the 2015-16 season, but Sutter decided the risk was worth the potential reward when he took Spacek with his first-round pick, 47th overall.

“We were in a position where we had a list of guys and he was certainly near or at the top of that list,” Sutter said Tuesday. “But he’s under contract over there and we have to wait and see how his agency (Newport Sports) works that out with his team so we can get him over here to play.”

The Rebels boss wasn’t interested in drafting a ‘B-level’ player. With his club hosting the 2016 Memorial Cup tournament, he was looking for a dynamic, top-six forward.

“With our pick we wanted to get a top-end player. We swung for the fence and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

After scoring five goals and adding seven assists in 12 games as a 17-year-old with HC Dynamo last season, Spacek, a five-foot-11, 187-pound winger, was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in Saturday’s fourth round of the NHL entry draft. Spacek, who turned 18 in April, has also represented his country in the world junior championship and world under-18 championship.

“He’s a good player. Any reports we got on him is he’s that obviously a grade-A player,” said Sutter. “We said all along that we wanted to get a player like that, but we were taking a chance that he might not come, too. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

The Czech Extraliga is ranked as the third-highest league in Europe. HC Dynamo’s 2014-15 roster included former Washington Capitals forward Petr Sykora, who led Pardubice in goals with 26.

Sutter admitted he has no idea if the odds of Spacek attending training camp are in the Rebels’ favour.

“His agency didn’t indicate to me if they’re hopeful of getting something done. They didn’t tip their hand one way or the other,” he said. “They would like to see the kid play over here but they have to work it out with his club team.

“They have all summer to work on it and obviously they’ll keep me updated. He’s a very good player. If we get him, he’ll fit in very nicely among our top six (forwards). We’ll see how it goes.”

Due to the May acquisition of Russian forward Ivan Nikolishin from the Everett Silvertips, the Rebels didn’t make a second-round selection in the import draft.

• One day after being released by the Rebels, Slovakian defenceman Mario Grman was selected by the Kootenay Ice in the second round — 95th overall — of the import draft Tuesday.

Grman skated in 35 games with the Rebels last season, contributing three assists.

“I really liked Mario, I watched him in the Tri-City tournament last year when Red Deer was there,” Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth told Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. “I thought he played well. Unfortunately in his situation, Red Deer went out and got Nelson Nogier and Colton Bobyk. He just got moved down the pecking order.

“He battled through it…He competes hard. He skates well. He shows willingness to stick up for his teammates. I know he’s very excited. He was very well liked in the Red Deer Rebel dressing room.”

• The Acadie-Bathurst Titan made Russian forward Vladimir Kuznetsov the first overall pick in the import draft.

The Saskatoon Blades chose Czech defenceman Libor Hajek second overall. The Sudbury Wolves made Russian forward Dmitry Sokolov the No. 3 pick in the draft.

Rebels

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

House sales remain hot in central Alberta with first-quarter sales nearly double last year’s numbers. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta real estate market hot in 2021

Residential sales nearly double 2020 in first quarter

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer gave an update on Olymel's COVID-19 situation on Wednesday. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Veer addresses rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

Red Deer has added nearly 200 cases of active COVID-19 cases in past week

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
RCMP investigate culturally insensitive graffiti at Sylvan Lake school

Sylvan Lake RCMP is investigating a vandalism incident. On April 17 around… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Tanner Pearson, right, celebrates after scoring against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie David Rittich during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Friday, April 16, 2021. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)
Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Lionel Desmond (front row, far right) was part of the 2nd battalion, of the Royal Canadian Regiment, based at CFB Gagetown and shown in this 2007 handout photo taken in Panjwai district in between patrol base Wilson and Masum Ghar in Afghanistan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook-Trev Bungay MANDATORY CREDIT
Desmond inquiry: Veterans Affairs submits internal review after initial refusal

Desmond inquiry: Veterans Affairs submits internal review after initial refusal

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2021 file photo State representatives gather at the Capitol, in Phoenix. Two years after Arizona lawmakers repealed a law barring any instruction on HIV or AIDS that that "promotes a homosexual lifestyle," they are close to enacting a broad remake of the state's sex education laws with a particular focus on LGBTQ issues. (AP Photo/Matt York,File)
Arizona governor vetoes strict sex education legislation

Arizona governor vetoes strict sex education legislation

Most Read