Rebels bolster D

The Red Deer Rebels stayed mostly within the province during the Western Hockey League bantam draft Thursday in Edmonton, selecting a highly-touted defenceman and a handful of talented and productive forwards in the process.

The Red Deer Rebels stayed mostly within the province during the Western Hockey League bantam draft Thursday in Edmonton, selecting a highly-touted defenceman and a handful of talented and productive forwards in the process.

The most prominent of the eight homegrown products is defenceman Matt Dumba of Calgary, whom the Rebels nabbed fourth overall. A trio of rearguards — Derrick Pouliot (first overall to the Portland Winter Hawks), Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw Warriors) and Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings) — were the first three picks of the draft, leaving Dumba available at No. 4.

For Rebels vice-president of hockey operations Randy Peterson and senior scout Dale McMullin, who were hoping to snag a top-end blueliner, selecting the 14-year-old graduate of the major bantam Calgary Bronks was a no-brainer.

“He can run a power play, but he also brings a physical presence with his rugged style,” Peterson said of the five-foot-11, 165-pound Dumba, who was ranked No. 1 by International Scouting Services (www.isshockey.com) for the bantam draft. “Matt patterns his game after Dion Phaneuf in terms of his physical play and he has a rocket for a shot. He pretty much brings everything to the table.”

Indeed, Dumba is a huge fan of Phaneuf’s high-impact style, as well as a fervent follower of the former Rebels star and current Calgary Flames thoroughbred.

“Yeah, I’d say that’s the one guy I try to be like,” he said, when reached at his Calgary home.

Dumba was tickled by the first report that he was Red Deer bound, and was even more grateful when he learned that the Rebels had also selected a pair of Airdrie Xtreme scorers in Mason Burr and Joel Hamilton, both of whom are well-known by the Calgary product.

“I was just so excited. I was hoping I was going to go to a good team in the draft and it worked out great. I’m just so happy that I got picked by this franchise,” said Dumba, who turns 15 in July and won’t be eligible to play full-time in the WHL until 2010.

“The Rebels didn’t have a very good season this year but they have some good guys to work with now, including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and I think they picked up some really key guys today. I’m friends with some of them. It’s a very good group and it looks good that way moving forward.”

McMullin is confident the Rebels have a blue-chip keeper in Dumba, as much for his work ethic as his talent.

“He’s a coast-to-coast guy who plays with a ton of energy. He competes and works his ass off every shift,” said McMullin, in reference to the Alberta Major Bantam League South Division MVP and top defenceman who scored a team high 20 goals last season, to go with 18 assists and 96 minutes in penalties in 33 games.

The Rebels looked to the Western Canada bantam champion Xtreme for their second- and fourth-round picks (Red Deer owed Brandon its third-round selection due to the 2007 trade for Mark Louis), taking forwards Burr of Airdrie and Cochrane native Hamilton 27th and 71st overall.

“Burr has great speed and a hard shot. He’s actually a kid we had ranked in the top 10, but that’s the way it goes, everyone has a different opinion,” said Peterson.

“He’s a guy who competes really hard and thinks the game. Plus, he’s off a championship team, and that certainly means a lot.”

McMullin also expressed surprise that Burr (31-27-58 in 33 games) was passed over in the first round.

“I don’t know what happened there. He’s a good-sized (five-foot-10) kid who skates well. He’s not overly creative, but he’s a power forward who can make a play. He’s going to be a good player down the road.”

Hamilton’s brother, Wacey, is an abrasive forward with the Medicine Hat Tigers and the younger sibling plays a similar style, said McMullin.

“Joel is an all-around, character type of player,” said McMullin. “We think he has a little higher skill level than his brother and he’s a bit of a pain in the ass to play against. He has good puck skills and he could be a captain down the road. He definitely has those character qualities in him.”

The Rebels continued to play the Alberta angle by picking centre Marc McCoy of Edmonton in the fifth round, 93rd overall. McCoy racked up 60 points (21g,39a) in 33 regular-season games with the Southgate Lions.

“He’s a long-legged kid with a real good compete level,” said McMullin. “He has good sense of the game and he has good hands. His stride is maybe a bit hitched and it needs to lengthen, but he works hard enough to get where he wants to go. We watched him quite a bit this winter. He’s a guy who will battle to make a play.”

With their remaining seven selections, the Rebels took defencemen Lucas Grayson of Port Hardy, B.C., and Davin Stener of Fort Saskatchewan, goaltender Bolton Pouliot of Calgary, and forwards Chase McMurphy of Chestermere, Brooks Maxwell of Raymond, Nikolas Olsson of Escondido, Calif., and Tyler Bateman of Kelowna.

Following are capsule quotes from McMullin regarding Red Deer’s sixth-to 10th-round picks, with height and statistics if available:

Lucas Grayson (six foot), sixth round, 116th overall

“He played midget A hockey in Port Hardy and will probably play with the North Island regional midget team next season. Lucas had a good BC Cup in Salmon Arm until he was injured, so we didn’t get to see a lot of him. But we took a flyer on this kid because we feel he has a chance to play with us down the road. He’s a solid kid who thinks the game and can make a good first pass.”

Chase McMurphy (six foot), sixth round, 131st overall

19-11-30, 87 PIMs in 26 games with Okotoks Oilers

“He broke both of his wrists over the past year and he was a player who got more involved prior to the injuries. So he has to regain that mindset where he can be a little more rugged. He’s a big kid who could be a good player in a year or two once he gets it all figured out. Chase is a good skater who can drive wide, and he has some skill.”

Davin Stener (five-foot-nine), seventh round, 137th overall

Played in 2009 AMBHL all-star game

“He’s a smaller guy, a (current Rebels defenceman) Cullen Morin type who probably has a little better feet than Cullen at the same age. But he’s the same kind of player, a guy who reads the ice well and when teamed up with a bigger D-man can be effective.”

Bolton Pouilot, (six foot), seventh round, 140th overall

10-3-2, 2.47 GAA, .916 save percentage with Calgary Royals Gold

“He’s a big goaltender who has good agility and moves well in the net. He’s not afraid to come out of the net to stop pucks and set them up for his D-men or throw them up the wall to a forward. He’s a good skater for a goaltender, he has some real athletic abilities.”

Brooks Maxwell (five-foot-nine), eighth round, 159th overall

18-29-47 in 33 games with Lethbridge Golden Hawks

“He’s a kid who started a little slow last fall but he got stronger and was playing really well toward the end of the year. He has good feet, a good set of hands and can make a play down low . . . by the end of the season he was going into the greasy areas. We think he has a really good upside to his game. Brooks is a nephew of (former WHL and NHL player and coach) Bryan Maxwell ”

Nikolas Olsson (five-foot-11), ninth round, 181st overall

“Jesse (Rebels head coach Wallin) saw him at our recent (WHL) camp in Anaheim and Randy saw him play in San Jose. Between the two of them it was decided that he’s a guy who has a chance to play with us. He’s a kid with good skills. Recruiting him could be the only problem moving forward.”

Tyler Bateman (five-foot-nine), 10th round, 203rd overall

“He has a good set of hands and a good skill level. We liked him all winter long. There are two teams in Kelowna and he played on the second team. He wasn’t called up during the season, so we thought there might be off-ice issues, but there weren’t any. It turns out they carded too many kids with the top team.”

Contact Greg Meachem at gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

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

Just Posted

Clearview Public Schools had slight enrolment increase in September. (Image from Facebook)
Positive COVID-19 test reported at Stettler high school

An individual who was at Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus has… Continue reading

(Advocate file photo).
Woman ‘beyond frustrated’ by Red Deer College program’s volunteer requirements

Teddie Briggs says she was “beyond frustrated” after learning Red Deer College’s… Continue reading

Hugh Danielson and Brayden Watts, of Red Deer are trying to spread the word about a new innovation for wheelchairs that they think will be especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Brayden Watts)
Red Deer company lands exclusive patent rights to wheelchair extension

By some small miracle, Hugh Danielson and Brayden Watts stumbled upon a… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Employee at Bethany CollegeSide in Red Deer tests positive for COVID-19

An employee at a Red Deer continuing care facility has tested positive… Continue reading

The Government of Alberta has identified 1,828 new cases and 15 new COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the provincial death toll to 590. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 1,828 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Central zone has 1,251 active cases

Teresa Kutynec, Red Deer Christmas Bureau president, dressed up as Mrs. Claus during the Charity Checkstop on Saturday. The event supports four nonprofit organizations: the Christmas Bureau, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Red Deer Food Bank and Women’s Outreach Centre. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Charity Checkstop raises money for nonprofit organizations

Red Deerians supported four local nonprofit organizations without even having to leave… Continue reading

The commemorative plaque is seen on the outside wall at the Polytechnique in Montreal, on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. Sunday will mark the 31st anniversary of the murder of 14 women in an antifeminist attack at Ecole Polytechnique on December 6, 1989. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Scaled-back, virtual ceremonies to mark 31st anniversary of Polytechnique killings

MONTREAL, France — The anniversary of the attack that cut short the… Continue reading

A man wears a face mask as he skateboards along a street in Montreal, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
COVID-19 cases hit new records as Tam urges perseverance, promises vaccine on the way

Canada’s top doctor urged cautious optimism — and a healthy dose of… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Manitoba judge rules church can’t hold drive-in services forbidden by health order

WINNIPEG — A Manitoba judge has rejected a church’s request to hold… Continue reading

Homeowners Cora and Alec Dion pose in the basement of their home in Fort McMurray, Alta., on May 8, 2020. More than seven months ago, the Dions were forced to flee Fort McMurray for the second time in four years as a spring flood threatened their home. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Halinda
Fort McMurray residents still cleaning, considering options after spring flooding

‘It’s worse than just having water, because it’s ice mixed in with the water’

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Anand says as soon as she knows when the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will arrive on Canadian soil, she will share that information with the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Negotiating contracts for vaccines in development needed flexibility: Anand

Health Canada officials are days, maybe even hours, away from approving the COVID-19 vaccine

Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota rises in the House of Commons, Wednesday, May 13, 2020 in Ottawa. nbsp; THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Speaker Rota reflects on first year presiding over unprecedented virtual Parliament

‘It’s not what I signed up for but it is what it is’

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $17 million Lotto Max draw

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $17 million jackpot… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Hay’s Daze: Not used to seeing giraffe with a mask

My bad. Now there’s an expression that used to stick in my… Continue reading

Most Read