New Rebels forward Cameron Hausinger could be a spokesperson for Air Miles.
The 17-year-old, originally from Anchorage, Alaska, joined the team after being acquired from the Saskatoon Blades for a seventh-round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft last week. Hausinger, a seventh-round pick by the Blades in 2014, had played from coast-to-coast, from Los Angeles to Maryland and Saskatchewan, before joining the Rebels. The 5-10, 188-pound teenager hopes he has finally found a home in Alberta.
“I love it here,” Hausinger said about how he’s enjoying his time so far in Red Deer. “I love the guys, the coaches are great, they have helped me out with on-ice and off-ice stuff. It’s awesome so far.”
The well-travelled, second-year WHLer did plenty to endear himself to his teammates and the hometown faithful, scoring twice in his Rebels’ debut last Friday against the Kootenay Ice in a 9-2 win. The goals, only the seventh and eighth in 80 games during his young WHL career, may have drawn some early fanfare, but it was his work ethic and energy that impressed his teammates and coaching staff.
“The one thing I know about Cam is high-energy,” Rebels associate coach Jeff Truitt said.
“You saw here the other night, he hits people. Gets the crowd going. He’s got some sneaky offence to him, too. It was great to see him get a couple goals the other night, contribute offensively. He’s the type of guy — his energy is infectious. He is a hard worker, and that’s great for the dressing room.”
Truitt added after seeing Hausinger play for the Blades a few times last season, he knew what the Rebels were getting in the energetic winger.
“He plays a lot bigger than what he is,” Truitt said. “He might only be 5-10, but when he hits you, you know it. I remember him last year being in Saskatoon, he’s a physical guy, he runs around with force out there.”
Hausinger had struggled this season with the Blades, notching only three assists in 20 games. Looking for more opportunity, he asked for a trade that would help him thrive.
“I talked about it with [the Blades] three weeks ago and they said to ‘hold tight for a little bit, let’s test things out a little bit more and if you’re still unhappy then we’d be happy to find you a new home’,” he said. “I held tight for as long as possible and finally got that chance to ask and they agreed with it and sent me somewhere good.”
Come Wednesday, when the Rebels host the Saskatoon Blades, Hausinger’s former club, their will be plenty of emotions but when the puck drops, there is no mistake about where his allegiances lay.
“It’ll be exciting, nerve-racking to look across the bench and see all those guys I used to play with and go to war with,” he said. “I’m happy to be here with the Rebels and I’ve grown real close to the guys over the last couple of days so I know when I put that jersey on, it’s time to go to war.”
The Rebels are coming off a mixed-bag weekend, where they dominated the Ice on Friday, but struggled Saturday when they allowed four-straight goals in a 5-2 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Wednesday marks the first visit for the Blades to the Centrium this season, with puck drop set for 7 p.m.