The Red Deer Rebels got their first look at their newest addition on the blueline this week.
Finnish-born Christoffer Sedoff, the Rebels first-round pick in the 2019 CHL Import Draft hit the ice for his first taste life in the WHL Saturday.
The 17-year-old defenceman was put through the paces by the coaching staff, along with many of his new teammates.
“I liked it very much, it was awesome to be on the ice,” he said.
“Finding my legs, it was very tiring.”
Sedoff spent last season with HIFK U20 in the Finnish equivalent of junior A. In 32 games he picked up three assists. In 2018, he also played at the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge and Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
At the Hlinka that year, Sedoff was part of the Finland team in Red Deer that finished seventh.
He figures that experience and his skating ability will help with the transition to the North American game.
“I’m a very good two-way D, like to get pucks to the forwards and jump up into the rush,” he said.
One adjustment the Helsinki product won’t have to make is to the language. The five-foot-11, 159-pound rearguard speaks three languages, including Finnish, Swedish and English.
On the ice, his puck-moving ability will be the biggest asset for a young Rebels group this season. He also is looking forward to the physical play in the WHL.
“Moving the puck, passing and creativity,” he added about his best attributes on the ice.
A potential partner for the newcomer is Rebels stalwart Dawson Barteaux. The 19-year-old veteran of 174 WHL regular-season games was on the ice with Sedoff Saturday and said he liked what he saw from his new teammate.
“He’s definitely a smooth-skating guy. Obviously a lot of those guys come over are smooth skaters and definitely got that for sure,” said Barteaux, who recorded a career-high seven goals and 34 points last year.
“Looks like one heck of a puck mover and good hands. Excited to see him in game action and maybe even play with him,”
Barteaux, a sixth-round pick of the Dallas Stars in the 2018 NHL Draft doesn’t figure Sedoff will take too much time to adjust and fit in with the current group.
“From what I got already he’s a smart kid that he’ll jump right into it. I don’t think we’re going to have to do anything. He’s so skilled and he’s so quick. He’ll have no problem jumping into the speed of the game,” added Barteaux.
As for his own play, Barteaux understands that in addition to the Finn, he will have to be a leader across the board for the team. Especially considering they will be one of the youngest teams in the league and are without most of the leadership group from last season.
“We have high expectations for the team. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people. We have a tight-knit group already. It’s looking good,” he said.
“Personally I want to be the best guy I can be. Be a good leader for these young guys and produce for myself and the team.”
Team White Wins first main camp scrimmage
On Monday, Team White edged Team Black 3-1 in the first scrimmage of main camp. Dawson Barteaux and Brett Davis had goals for White in the victory.
Black scored their only goal of the two-period, 60 minute game in the penalty shot shootout following the game.
Ethan Anders and Byron Fancy both earned shutouts in their half of the contest.
Swift Current product Chase Coward tended the net for White in the second half and only allowed the shootout tally.