Rebels acquire forward Carson Latimer from the Wenatchee Wild in exchange for draft picks. (Photo by the WHL)

Rebels acquire forward Carson Latimer from the Wenatchee Wild in exchange for draft picks. (Photo by the WHL)

Rebels newcomer Carson Latimer brings valuable playoff experience

The 20-year-old can’t wait to get started

Rebels’ newcomer Carson Latimer knew a trade was imminent this offseason.

The 20-year-old forward from Surrey, B.C. was in between on-ice workouts this week when he saw a couple of missed calls.

The first was from the Wenatchee Wild but the second came from a Red Deer phone number.

That’s when he clued in that he had been traded from the Wild and Latimer couldn’t be more excited to join his new team.

“Talking with Brent [Sutter] was really cool… We’re going to have a great team next year and I hope to be a big part of the success I think we’re going to have,” he said. “It’s really exciting.”

He expected to be dealt by the Wild after they made it apparent they wanted to recuperate some assets.

“I was someone they thought they could get something for so with the move from Wenatchee I know Red Deer was one of the teams that was looking at me,” he said.

“I wasn’t necessarily surprised but I was actually more relieved by it happening because I expected something was going to happen. I’m glad it was Red Deer.”

Latimer is no stranger to playing against the Rebels since he’s played his entire Western Hockey League career in the Eastern Conference.

“I’ve seen a lot of Red Deer and the way they play when you’re on the opposing end of it, it’s not fun,” he said.

“They’re going to play a hard game every night so being on that team now, knowing the feeling of other teams when coming to the Centrium. I’m glad I’m on this end now.”

Originally drafted by the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2018 he played just six games during the 2019-20 season while also playing a short stint with the Port Moody Panthers, a Junior B Squad in B.C.

He then played a combined 40 games for the Oil Kings before he was traded to the Prince Albert Raiders just 18 games into the 2021-22 season.

It was in the Gateway to the North where Latimer flourished potting 32 points in 44 games and again in the 2022-23 season with 28 points in 31 games as an assistant captain.

However, Latimer was traded once again midway through the 2022-23 campaign to the Winnipeg Ice where he joined a WHL powerhouse poised for a long playoff run.

In 22 games he contributed 12 points but added six points in 12 playoff games, including an appearance to the WHL Finals to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds.

“I have a lot of experience heading into my 20-year-old year. I’ve kind of been through a bit of everything on winning teams and losing teams. I’ve been through a long playoff run last year getting to the finals,” he said.

“I know what kind of team it takes to win and be successful. I hope to bring that to Red Deer.”

Latimer first took an interest in hockey through his father who was a big fan of the game. He didn’t play at any high levels but he loved the game and that rubbed off on Carson.

“We went to a ton of Canucks games. Giants games were a huge activity we did and I used to watch my dad play beer league all the time,” he said.

“Eventually, I fell in love with the game myself at a young age… I just loved the game and still continue to. Making a career out of it is still my goal.”

He was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft and after the team failed to sign him by the deadline in June another team came calling.

Soon Latimer will head to Minnesota to take part in the Wild’s training camp in hopes of landing a contract.

Latimer describes his game as fast, with some skill up front, but also hardworking on the defensive end.

Last year he felt he was just starting to get his feet under him before he got injured. His goal for the 2023-24 campaign is to remain healthy and contribute in a big way.

“I think I have a lot of potential that I haven’t really reached yet. I think putting together a full season and if I’m able to just stay healthy I have a lot to prove still.”

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