RDC Kings round out blue line with top junior player

Trevor Keeper’s blue-line makeover is complete. The Red Deer College Kings men’s hockey coach added former Manitoba Junior Hockey League defenceman of the year Trevor Butler from the Dauphin Kings this past week. The five-foot-11, 185 pounder joins former Red Deer Optimist Rebels rearguards Nick Bell and Joel Topping who also committed this off-season.

Trevor Keeper’s blue-line makeover is complete.

The Red Deer College Kings men’s hockey coach added former Manitoba Junior Hockey League defenceman of the year Trevor Butler from the Dauphin Kings this past week.

The five-foot-11, 185 pounder joins former Red Deer Optimist Rebels rearguards Nick Bell and Joel Topping who also committed this off-season.

“Last year when we had a brand new team with 25 players, we had a bit of a drop off (on defence), there’s no question, after our top four defencemen,” said Keeper. “We wanted to make sure we had more depth with our defencemen this year.”

Butler scored 58 points (seven goals, 51 assists) in 60 games with the Kings in 2012-13 and was named the Manitoba league’s top defenceman. Last year he scored 37 points (6-31-37) in 62 games and was named a second team all-star. He helped the Kings advance all the way to the RBC Cup in Vernon this past season.

Keeper says he had interest from NCAA school in the U.S., but a desire to stay in Canada played into his decision to come to Red Deer. It also didn’t hurt that his defensive partner and roommate from 2012-13 already wears black and green.

“Shamus (Graham) was a big help in recruiting his friend to come here,” said Keeper. “But he’s a small town farm kid from Souris, Man., and he didn’t really have any interest in going down south.”

He also played with RDC forward and Sylvan Lake product Jeff Archibald in Dauphin for three years.

Butler will find a home on the Kings’ power play and likely a top four pairing. Where exactly he fits in will sort itself out in training camp in September.

The blue-line should be a lot deeper this year than the Kings’ return to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association this past season where they had moved forward Jared Kambeitz back to fill in holes.

The six-foot-one, 190-pound Bell spent the last two seasons playing with the Mount Royal University Cougars, after spending three years with the Okotoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and one with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels.

Topping spent the last two season with the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes. The six-foot-one, 195-pound was a second round pick for Lethbridge in the 2010 bantam draft, but quit in December this to start his teaching degree at RDC.

Keeper has not ignored his situation up front.

He’s added Red Deer centreman Connor Hartley (six-foot, 180 pounds), who spent most of the last four years with the Oilers, and rugged winger Tyler Burkholtz (five-foot-11, 195 pounds) from the B.C. Hockey League — he was named the Trail Smoke Eaters’ most valuable player in 2012-13.

Keeper says he is not done recruiting and may be adding one more player before the week is out.

It has been a different recruiting season for the RDC head coach this summer as compared to last year when he was putting together the Kings’ initial team. RDC still made it to the ACAC semifinals, beating the MacEwan University Griffins in the first round.

“I’ve been able to be selective with my recruits that we’ve gone after, we’ve got just about everybody we were hoping for,” said Keeper. “We wanted to try and focus on bringing about six players, and real quality ones that will upgrade us … With recruiting I’m going after players that are going to make us better at every position.”

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

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Chopped Canada-winning chef Pete Sok is trying to focus on the future as he reopens Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge in the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley during the pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer’s celebrity chef looks past the pandemic with new restaurant opportunity

Pete Sok is reopening Boulevard Restaurant — and betting on the future

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Most Read