Rebels blueline bolstered by new defenceman

He likely won’t replace Nick Bell’s offensive ability, but the Red Deer Rebels’ newest acquisition should help the team in other areas.

He likely won’t replace Nick Bell’s offensive ability, but the Red Deer Rebels’ newest acquisition should help the team in other areas.

“He’s just a solid, steady, stay-at-home guy,” Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin said Wednesday evening in reference to 18-year-old defenceman Aaron Borejko, who was acquired from the Kelowna Rockets earlier in the day in return for a fourth-round pick in next year’s bantam draft.

“He’s a kid with good size (six-foot-two, 205 pounds), he’s strong and he’s a decent skater. He’s a solid guy who adds some experience to our team.”

The search for another defenceman intensified when Bell took a shot off his ankle and suffered a hairline fracture in Tuesday’s 6-3 loss to the visiting Calgary Hitmen and is out indefinitely. With Alex Petrovic already absent with a high ankle sprain and not expected back for two to three weeks, the Rebels were down to four defencemen.

But Wallin said Wednesday’s deal wasn’t strictly about finding just any rearguard as a stop-gap measure.

“This is a guy we have been looking at for a couple of weeks,” said Wallin. “We were trying to get him before Nick went down, and when this (injury to Bell) happened it became just that much more important that we get him.

“Aaron comes from a good organization. He got some great experience last year winning the league championship (with the Rockets) and playing in the Memorial Cup, so he’ll help us that way. I think he can be a guy who can help our team, as opposed to a guy who’s just there to be a body.”

Borejko, an Edmonton native, is in his second Western Hockey League season. He scored once, added five assists and collected 28 minutes in penalties in 50 games last winter, and has one assist and six penalty minutes in 11 outings this fall.

Borejko was scheduled to arrive in Red Deer today and will be in the Rebels lineup for Friday’s road game against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

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