Arshdeep Bains and Co. embracing the spotlight as season winds down

Arshdeep Bains is very aware of what he has become this season.

The six-foot-one, 183-pound left winger from Surrey, B.C. has been on a meteoric rise in his third WHL season.

With nine games to go in the Red Deer Rebels season, Bains said his line along with Ben King and Jace Isley, especially in the latter half of the year, has begun to embrace the spotlight that’s been pointed on them as the de facto number one unit.

They’ve often lined up against the top defence pair or forward unit of their opponents.

“At the beginning, yeah it was a little bit of pressure, knowing that you have to be 100 per cent every night if the team has a chance to win,” said Bains, who has been alongside King since he arrived in a trade from Swift Current earlier this year.

“It’s been a long year, we’re out of that now. We’re happy, we love our role and we want to be the best players on the ice. It’s a driving factor.”

The 19-year-old before this season over 103 games, had just eight goals, 17 assists. Through 59 contests this year has career highs in goals, assists, points, power play goals, short handed goals and game-winning goals.

Bains is currently the Rebels top point producer and as he began to breakout this season, it’s been fun to watch. He has 17 goals, 31 assists for 48 points while playing every game this season. He also has five power play goals, the first of his career and four game-winning goals, also the first of his career. His 0.81 points-per-game are more than double what he’s been able to produce so far in his WHL career.

So, how did it happen?

“This year has felt a lot different than last year. A lot more confidence, more ice, bigger role to play and just fitting in and getting used to the role and getting better at it,” said Bains with his typical modesty.

At times this season Bains has looked a lot like Brandon Hagel did last season, taking over games, dominating shifts and lifting up his linemates against the top opponents on the other side. It’s confidence that has helped that as much as anything, but it also appears the game at the WHL level is finally slowing down for the talented winger.

“The most improved I’ve been is not just making rush plays, holding the puck, protecting the puck and making smart reads. It helped my overall game offensively,” said Bains, who was also quick to credit his linemates with embracing the elevated expectations.

“In the d-zone, getting pucks and making smart plays and being reliable. That’s all been good. Hopefully, it all gets better.”

If it were to get better next season, as a 19-year-old Bains will surely be one of the Rebels who is relied upon night in and night out, a role he’s already thinking about how to get better at.

“Off-season training is going to be even better this year. Going to work even hard, work on getting more shots on net and being a two-way threat, with more speed and strength,” he said.

For all of what this season has become, the B.C. teen also had a unique moment on a road trip through B.C. earlier this season.

Bains was featured on Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi on Feb. 15, a moment that he and his whole family were proud of.

“That was cool. I’ve always seen it on TV, a lot of people got to see it and heard about the story. It’s big for my culture, it was pretty awesome to be a part of that,” he said.

“I never thought they would do that, it was exciting. People get to hear my story. (My family) texted me after, they saw it on TV, it was awesome.”

The Rebels will host the red hot Spokane Chiefs on Friday, for the one and only meeting this season. Spokane has won seven in a row and nine of the last 10. Red Deer will also host the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday night.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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


Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

A Red Deer County man was arrested for drug possession by Innisfail RCMP on April 19. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Property crime and drugs top Red Deer RCMP priorities in new plan

2020-2022 Policing Priorities Plan going to city council on Monday

RCMP estimate about 500 people gathered on the weekend near Garrington Bridge along the Red Deer River, in a July 28, 2020 story. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Second person charged for alleged assault at anti-racism rally in Red Deer

A second person is facing charges following an alleged assault during an… Continue reading

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees vice-president Bonnie Gustola criticized provincial government layoffs at a rally that drew more than 80 people at City Hall Park on Friday.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
More than 80 rally in Red Deer against government health, education cutbacks

Rally at City Hall Park organized by the Council for Canadians

The higher the education level, the higher the income of some 1.3 million post-secondary graduates surveyed between 2010 and 2015, with master's degrees paying off the most. But the findings also suggest that gender and timing matter. (Black Press Media File).
2020 high school grads won’t get their ceremony

Decision announced by Lindsay Thurber and Hunting Hills high schools, and Gateway Christian School

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

New voluntary measures, including the encouragement of more mask wearing, have been introduced in the Edmonton health zone. “Red Deer has been very fortunate to have relatively low case numbers . . . relative to the rest of the province and the country,” says Mayor Tara Veer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
POLL: Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?… Continue reading

Police in Ottawa are investigating an incident of hate-motivated graffiti at the National War Memorial. The alleged incident happened last Friday night, when police say a man, shown in a police handout photo, used a sharp object to engrave a hateful message on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. THE CANADIAN PRESSS/HO-Ottawa Police Service MANDATORY CREDIT
Ottawa police investigating hate-motivated graffiti incident at National War Memorial

Ottawa police investigating hate-motivated graffiti incident at National War Memorial

Indigenous fisherman Robert Syliboy stands on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Tensions remain high over an Indigenous-led lobster fishery that has been the source of conflict with non-Indigenous fishermen. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan
For Mi’kmaq fishers, dreams of a peaceful harvest on N.S. waters repeatedly dashed

For Mi’kmaq fishers, dreams of a peaceful harvest on N.S. waters repeatedly dashed

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday October 21, 2020. Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, says he is set to tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he has 'lost confidence' in RCMP Commissioner Lucki. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Bellegarde wants Brenda Lucki out as head of RCMP

Bellegarde wants Brenda Lucki out as head of RCMP

This image released by CBS All Access shows Dan Illescas, left, and Tracey Stabile of the Central Texas Pig Rescue in a scene from the CBS All Access docuseries "That Animal Rescue Show." (Danny Matson/CBS All Access via AP)
Animals, people rescue each other in heartfelt docuseries

Animals, people rescue each other in heartfelt docuseries

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe scores his sixth goal of the WHL season in the first period against the Tri-City Americans on Saturday night at the Centrium. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
WHL grants players temporary transfer until mid-December

Players are eligible to suit up in Junior A, Junior B and U-18 ranks

Most Read