Rebels roll in for camp

Wearing a huge grin and admittedly harbouring some anxiety, Red Deer Rebels defenceman Aaron Borejko registered for training camp Saturday at the Centrium.

Justin Weller is put through the paces as the Red Deer Rebels opened up training camp on Saturday at the Centrium.

Justin Weller is put through the paces as the Red Deer Rebels opened up training camp on Saturday at the Centrium.

Wearing a huge grin and admittedly harbouring some anxiety, Red Deer Rebels defenceman Aaron Borejko registered for training camp Saturday at the Centrium.

“I’m excited. I’m really looking forward to this season,” said the veteran as he headed across the parking lot.

Inside, he was joined by a long list of returning players and a throng of newcomers — 71 players in all. The rookies were wide-eyed, the veterans relaxed and robust as they waiting for the fitness testing.

Rebels director of scouting/player development Randy Peterson was impressed with the level of physical conditioning shown by the returnees.

“The kids have taken another step in terms of their conditioning, plus some of the guys have grown,” said Peterson.

“It’s kind of interesting that our younger guys can rub shoulders with the veterans and see what it takes to play in our league as far as conditioning and the commitment level that it takes. Not that last year was a problem in that regard, but you can see that these veterans are that much stronger and that’s going to help us take that next step as a team. We made some strides last season and now we want to keep moving forward, and it looks like our returning guys are prepared to do that.”

Barring injuries, very few jobs will be up for grabs this fall, therefore the club issued invitations to just a handful of main-camp outsiders.

“We have so many returning players this year and young prospects we’re pretty high on, so we didn’t send out too many invitations,” said Peterson.

Still, there are at least two main-camp invitees with junior A experience — defenceman Justin Slobozian and forward Neil Landry, both 18.

Slobozian was a third-round bantam draft pick of the Regina Pats in 2007 and has suited up with the WHL club, although he played with the OCN Blizzard of the MJHL last season, scoring once and adding four assists and 22 minutes in penalties in 24 games.

“He has some ability and has also played in our league,” said Peterson. “He’s here to earn a spot and we’ll give him a good look.”

Landry was picked by the Kamloops Blazers in the fifth round of the 2007 bantam draft and has attended three WHL camps with the club.

He spent last season with the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL, scoring four goals and collecting eight points and 32 minutes in penalties in 45 contests.

“He’s a kid who’s always had a pretty good skill level and we like the way he thinks the game,” said Peterson. “He’ll be given an opportunity here.”

Forwards Jamie Johnson of Edmonton and Clint Pirio of Radville, Sask., are 18-year-old main-camp invitees who just graduated from the midget AAA ranks. Johnson had seven goals and 23 points in 34 games with the Edmonton Knights of Columbus and Pirio sniped 21 goals in 40 games with the Notre Dame Argos.

“Johnson had a good season and Pirio is a big kid who plays the game pretty well,” said Peterson. “He’s six-foot-two and he can skate. He’ll be given an opportunity, that’s for sure.”

Steve Oursov is also back in camp after suffering a serious concussion during the 2008-09 WHL season, an injury that kept him out of action until the second half of the 2009-10 campaign when he joined the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL and scored five goals and contributed four assists in 20 games.

“Steve is very determined. He’s worked hard during the off-season and he’s here to get his job back,” said Peterson.

• Camp opened this morning with an 8:30 a.m. rookie session. The main-camp players are on the ice from 10:30 am. to 12:45 p.m. and again from 4:45-6:15 p.m. for a scrimmage.

The rookies return for a 90-minute session at 2:45 p.m. and a goalie session is scheduled for 1-2:30 p.m.

Training camp concludes with the McDonald’s Black and White intrasquad game at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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

Just Posted

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that was administered to seniors, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. A second COVID-19 vaccine is being investigated for possible links to blood clots, though the syndrome appears to be extremely rare. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rogelio V. Solis
Canada receives report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

OTTAWA — A Quebec woman is the first in Canada to develop… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney struck back at unruly protesters who chanted ‘lock her up’ in relation to Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw on Monday. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Alberta Premier calls for ‘unhinged conspiracy theorists’ to stop threatening the chief medical officer

Spreading misinformation, making threats is ‘beyond the pale,’ said Kenney

An internal investigation by AHS revealed 3,224 patients had their electronic health records accessed improperly by two clerical employees in the diagnostic imaging department at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Employees access 3K patients’ records in privacy breach at Red Deer hospital

3,224 patients had their electronic health records accessed improperly

The Red Deer Boxing Club will be moving to a larger space, in North Red Deer. The programs need more room to grow, says founder Robert Carswell. (Photo by LANA MICHELIn/Advocate staff).
Red Deer Boxing Club is moving to north industrial site

The property was rezoned to accommodate recreational uses

An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Air Canada agrees to $5.9-billion aid package, giving Ottawa equity stake in airline

$1.4 billion earmarked to help reimburse thousands of customers

An emergency response worker carries an air monitoring device at the site of a crude oil spill at a Trans Mountain Pipeline pump station in Abbotsford, on Sunday, June 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Failed fitting caused 190,000-litre spill at Trans Mountain site in B.C.: TSB

VANCOUVER — A Transportation Safety Board report says the failure of a… Continue reading

Indigenous leaders, experts urge Ottawa to quickly pass UNDRIP bill before election

OTTAWA — Indigenous leaders and legal experts are pushing federal lawmakers to… Continue reading

Visitors to a roadside memorial pay their respects in Portapique, N.S., on Friday, April 24, 2020. The Canadian Red Cross confirmed today it has collected $6.2 million in donations to help the families in rural Nova Scotia affected by the mass shooting last spring that claimed 22 lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Red Cross collects $6.2 million for families affected by Nova Scotia mass shooting

HALIFAX — Canadians and people from around the world donated $6.2 million… Continue reading

Hindu devotees wearing face masks as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus stand in a queue to offer prayers inside a temple dedicated to goddess Kali in Jammu, India, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. New infections have surged in the past month and India has now reported over 13.6 million cases — pushing its toll past Brazil, and making it second only to the United States. In the past 24 hours, over 160,000 new infections have been detected and experts fear that the worst is yet to come. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Johnson & Johnson delays shot rollout in Europe

BERLIN — Johnson & Johnson says it is delaying the rollout of… Continue reading

Restaurant workers and restaurant delivery workers wait in line to sign up for Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccine site, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in the Sunset Park neighborhood of New York. The mobile vaccination effort includes two buses equipped with four to six vaccinators each, delivering the COVID-19 vaccine directly to communities most in need. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose… Continue reading

FILE-Team Canada’s Meaghan Mikkelson fights for control of the puck with U.S.A.’s Hayley Scamurra during third period of Women’s Rivalry Series hockey action in Vancouver, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of women’s national teams, hopes a Rivalry Series against the United States can happen this winter.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Dwyer
Canadian women’s hockey team to open selection camp in Nova Scotia

Six goaltenders, 15 defenders and 26 forwards will vie for spots on Canada’s 23-player roster

FILE - Rhian Wilkinson, left, and Melissa Tancredi of Canada’s women’s soccer team attend a news conference in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 to announce their retirement from the team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Former Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson now part of England coaching setup

Wilkinson left Canada Soccer in January to join interim England head coach Hege Riise as an assistant

Canadian actor/producer/director Jay Baruchel is photographed at the 5 Drive-In Theatre in Oakville, Ont., ahead of the premier of Baruchel’s movie Random Acts of Violence, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Jay Baruchel to host Amazon Prime Video’s ‘LOL: Last One Laughing Canada’

Final comedian left standing wins a grand prize for a charity of their choice

Most Read