Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Rebels fitness testing ----- greg has story---Red Deer Rebel Austin Strand does a standing long jump during fitness testing at the Can-Pro Training Centre in Red Deer Wednesday.

Toth ready to take the reins

If time truly flies when you’re having fun, then Rylan Toth’s off-season must have been an outright hoot. “It feels like I never left, actually,” the Red Deer Rebels goaltender said Wednesday, after registering for this year’s training camp at the Centrium.

If time truly flies when you’re having fun, then Rylan Toth’s off-season must have been an outright hoot.

“It feels like I never left, actually,” the Red Deer Rebels goaltender said Wednesday, after registering for this year’s training camp at the Centrium.

“I was back in town yesterday and I’m back with the same billets. I feel right at home. It’s all good.”

Toth was all smiles as he looked around the Centrium, which is brighter than ever with new lighting and also features new rink boards. The improvements are timely — and necessary — considering the Rebels will host the 2016 Memorial Cup tournament in May.

“There’s a lot of exciting things happening right now,” said the 19-year-old Saskatoon native. “The team looks really good with most of the players back and a few new guys, and the rink looks amazing. We’re all really excited to get going.”

The highlight of Toth’s off-season was his involvement — as one of four netminders — as an undrafted free agent in the five-day Calgary Flames development camp at WinSport in July.

“It was good, I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I was really hoping to go back (for the Flames rookie camp in September), but that’s all right, I took from it what I could.

“I think I learned a lot. The pace was really fast, especially with it being in the summer when you’re not used to being on the ice.”

The development camp featured roughly a half dozen pros, including the heralded and highly-talented Sam Bennett, and Toth took note of their habits.

“It was beneficial to me to see how those guys carried themselves on and off the ice,” he said. “There was also a ton of fans at the games and lots of media around. The guys were all really good and it was a cool experience, for sure.”

Toth hasn’t heard back from the Flames, but nothing gained, nothing lost.

“They just said that I did well, but they wanted to take a longer look at another guy,” he said. “But I’m really glad I went to the camp. Going into the (NHL entry) draft I was just hoping I could be invited to a camp somewhere.”

Toth was passed over in the draft, but he has at least one more season of major junior hockey to show the scouts that he has definite pro potential. After posting a 2.84 goals-against average and .904 save percentage as a Western Hockey League rookie last season and putting up even superior numbers — 2.34 and .934 — in a five-game playoff loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers, he expects to be markedly better this season.

He will also get plenty of exposure with his season extending into late May.

“I guess my play will dictate that, but it’s certainly something to be excited about,” he said of his prospects of being the Rebels’ No. 1 stopper through the entire season.

Toth is clearly confident that he can carry the bulk of the goaltending duties through the winter and beyond. Trevor Martin, 19, Solomon Burk, 17, and 16-year-old Dawson Weatherill of Red Deer, the team’s second-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft, are the other goalies registered for main camp.

“I think I proved I could do it last season and I want to build off of that and have a good year,” said Toth.

Just the fact that he has a season of WHL experience under his belt is a confidence-boost.

“From the start of last season to the end to now . . . it’s a world of difference coming back for a second year,” he noted. “It’s awesome being able to come back and being familiar with everything.

“And as far as the (2016 NHL entry) draft goes, I’m not too worried about that. “Lots of guys who were never drafted go on to play pro hockey and even make the NHL. If I’m drafted, good, but I’m not concerned about it.”

Toth and his main camp mates will be put through their paces during on-ice fitness testing today and will return to the ice — for the official start of camp — at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Training camp will conclude Wednesday with the Black and White intrasquad game

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read