Red Deer Rebels defenceman Christoffer Sedoff had 61 points in 65 games this season. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Christoffer Sedoff had 61 points in 65 games this season. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Christoffer Sedoff wants to stay in North America

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Christoffer Sedoff is eyeing a return to North America.

The 20-year-old product of Helsinki, Finland, had 61 points in 65 games during the 2021-22 Western Hockey League season, which was tied for seventh-most among defencemen. He added two assists in eight playoff games.

As for next season, Sedoff said he’ll have to “wait and see” if he’ll return to the Rebels organization.

“I’m very happy to come back (to Red Deer) if it’s not pro in the American Hockey League or NHL,” Sedoff said at the Rebels’ year-end press conference Friday.

“I want to stay in North America.”

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Sedoff was drafted by Red Deer in the 2019 WHL Import Draft and debuted for the team in the 2019-20 season, recording 19 points in 61 games.

The six-foot-one, 189-pound defender spent the 2020-21 season with SaiPa Lappeenranta of the professional Finnish league due to the COVID-19 pandemic – he had two points in 26 games for the SM-liiga team. Playing a season in a professional league “definitely” helped him improve as a player, he said.

“It matured me a lot last year,” said Sedoff.

“It was easy to come back and show the way to the young players by competing every day and showing the way that we have to play to win games.”

Transitioning from Finland to Canada has been “a very good experience,” said Sedoff.

“With how the organization runs, it feels like your playing (at the professional level), but it’s juniors here. I really like it here,” he said.

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The Rebels finished third in the WHL Eastern Conference this past season with a 45-19-2-2. Red Deer was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Edmonton Oil Kings.

“We had very good success in the regular season. We played a good first round, but we definitely struggled as a team in the second round. Edmonton’s a very good team. They have a lot of talent on that team.”

Sedoff was third on the Rebels in points, trailing only Ben Kings, who led the league in goals, and Arshdeep Bains, who led the league in points. The player with the fourth-most points on the team, Liam Keeler, has 16 fewer than Sedoff’s 61.

Sedoff praised the rest of Red Deer’s defensive group, which included Jace Weir, Kyle Masters and Jackson van de Leest.

“It was very exciting to come back knowing we had some older and younger players that are very talented. We stuck together and got better as we went along.”

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