Rebels trade captain Dawson Barteaux to Winnipeg Ice

The Red Deer Rebels traded defenceman Dawson Barteaux at the WHL Trade Deadline Friday.

Red Deer announced the trade almost an hour after the 3 p.m., deadline.

They sent the 19-year-old blueliner to the Winnipeg ICE, along with a fifth round selection in 2020, a sixth in 2023 for a host of draft picks.

In exchange, Red Deer will receive second-round selections in the WHL Bantam Draft in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, as well as a 5th round pick in the 2021 WHL Bantam Draft and a conditional 3rd round WHL Bantam pick in 2023.

“It was actually pretty quiet the last few days. I was content up until an hour and a half, two hours before the deadline that we were going to stay status quo,” said Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.

“Until someone really wanted to step up and made what was the appropriate return for Barts and Winnipeg did. Winnipeg had talked to us a while back but at that point in time, nothing was where it needed to be. There were a lot of teams that called about Barts, because he’s such a great player. He’s a great young man and I’m happy for him to have a chance to go to a top team and be in a situation where he can perhaps win in his last five months of his junior career.”

Barteaux, the Rebels captain and a 2018 Dallas Stars draft pick played in all situations this season and had seven goals and 23 points in 39 games.

Sutter said in addition to their position in the standings, nine points out of a playoff spot, he also got the sense from the Stars, that Barteaux would be playing pro hockey next season and not returning for his final year of junior.

“From my perspective, I had to set personal feelings aside and do what I think is right for the organization moving forward. We’re nine points out of a playoff spot. It’s going to be a tough battle, we’re not giving up on it,” Sutter said.

“It’s certainly going to be a battle over the next 28 games. I don’t want to look back in April and say, well geez, we could have had all this but we didn’t because we didn’t move Barts. We just felt it was the right thing to do. We just felt it was something we couldn’t turn down once it got to the pieces that were acceptable.”

The Foxwarren, Man. product was originally acquired by the Rebels in a blockbuster trade deadline day deal three years ago. The then 16-year-old was a first-round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft by the Regina Pats. He recorded just two assists in his first 24 games with the Rebels, but took off from there.

In his draft year, the 2017-18 campaign, the blueliner notched three goals and 32 assists and was selected in the sixth round, 168th overall by the Dallas Stars.

Last year, the six-foot-one, 187-pound defender produced seven goals and 34 points in 67 games. After time in the Stars rookie camp and a stint at main camp, Barteaux signed a three-year entry level contract with Dallas.

“It’s hard, it’s hard to make a trade like that. Not only are you trading your team captain away and your best player, but also a guy that’s a better person than he is a player,” Sutter said.

“We have a really good young group of players here and we’re trying to build something. Dallas had mentioned to me that they were going to turn Barts pro next year. So we had to do what I thought was right for the group here, moving forward into the future and continuing to build our team around all these kids to give ourselves a chance to be a team that’s elite in our league in the very near future.”

The Rebels will play the ICE on Saturday night in Winnipeg.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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