Red Deer Rebels forward Chri Douglas tries to bury a brekaway attempt as Everett Silvertips' Olen Zellweger is in hot pursuit during the first period of WHL action at the Centrium Monday night. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Pair of former Rebels commit to UBC Thunderbirds

Fresh off the shortened WHL season, Ethan Anders and Chris Douglas didn’t have to wait long to team up again.

Teammates for the last four seasons with the Red Deer Rebels, the two 20-year-olds will play for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Men’s Hockey team next season.

Douglas and Anders will be joined by two other Central Division foes at UBC, with Edmonton Oil Kings forward Scott Atkinson and Lethbridge Hurricanes’ Liam Kindree also heading west.

“Adding another four high quality WHL players with tons of experience is just massive for the program,” said UBC head coach Sven Butenschon in a news release.

“We’re starting to put some solid pieces together that will pay off for us for years to come.”

Douglas played 250 WHL games, all for the Red Deer Rebels. Originally from Richmond, B.C. Douglas said early this spring he’s excited to head back to his home province and represent the Thunderbirds.

Butenschon noted he likes Douglas’ size and his intelligence off the ice should be an asset as well.

“He’s an outstanding two-way player, he’s probably the biggest forward we’re recruiting,” said Butenschon.

“He’s a great student, he got into Sauder School of Business as a first-year. He can handle the academic stuff which means he’ll get to the rink a little less stressed… I think UBC is going to be perfect for Chris and I can see him after four or five years with us as one of our best players.”

Anders played in just 12 games this season for Red Deer, with 4.50 goals against average and 0.866 save percentage. He suffered a hip injury and missed the final five games.

In 146 games over his WHL career, he posted a 3.37 GAA and 0.898 SV%.

UBC graduated goalies Rylan Toth and Pat Dea, so they will be relying heavily on Anders and Dorrin Lunding next season.

“We’ve been watching Ethan for a couple years now, just because with Rylan (Toth) and Patty (Dea) both moving on at the same time and that’s really not an ideal situation for a team in our league,” said Butenschon.

“We’re expecting Ethan to give us really strong competition in net and to be the guy he has been most of his WHL career.”

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