Red Deer Rebels defenceman Alex Alexeyev was picked 31st overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals on Friday night. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Video: Red Deer Rebels defenceman Alex Alexeyev drafted by Washington Capitals

Alexeyev picked 3st overall by reigning Stanley Cup champions

In a season full of ups and downs, Alex Alexeyev enters the summer with a shining moment to overcome it all.

The Rebels Russian defenceman was selected by the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals in the first round, 31st overall in the NHL Entry Draft in Dallas, Texas on Friday night.

“I’m so happy I can’t believe it, I don’t know how to explain my emotion, so happy,” Alexeyev told Sportsnet after he was picked on the opening night of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Alexeyev, 18, is the first Rebel to be selected in the first round since Haydn Fleury was picked seventh overall in 2014.

It was a tumultuous year for the defender, who missed time early in the season with an upper-body injury, then broke his finger trying to catch a pick midway through the campaign. He also suffered through an unthinkable family tragedy, when his mother died in January and he missed more than a month of the WHL season.

“She would be so happy to see me in this jersey. I hope she sees me right now,” Alexeyev said on Sportsnet after the selection.

Through it all this season, the six-foot-four, 195-pound defender registered seven goals and 30 assists in 45 games, along with five points in three playoff games.

He played in all situations for Red Deer and most often drew tough assignments against the other team’s top line.

The defenceman was ranked number 22 among North American skaters heading into the draft on Friday. He was one of 14 defencemen picked in the first round.

He was originally selected by the Rebels 49th overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. In his first campaign with the Rebels, he notched four goals and 17 assists in 41 games but missed most of the second half with a shoulder injury.

Alexeyev was one of only two WHL players selected in the first round, with Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs going to the New Jersey Devils in the 17th spot.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fenced-off SCS site development approved by Red Deer city council for seven years

‘Sunset clause’ means a new permit will be needed in 2025

Growing drug-fuelled emergencies at Red Deer’s Buffalo transitional housing complex

City council approves two additional mental health staffers at complex

Bystanders help Innisfail Mountie make arrest

A 35-year-old Ottawa man is facing a number of charges including resisting arrest

More supports for homeless needed for Red Deer

Provincial funding recently announced for Lethbridge

Second Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia’s brother Magnum dead at Discovery Wildlife Park

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read