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Red Deer Rebels forward Ben King out 6-8 weeks with lower body injury

Rebels take on Victoria Royals Wednesday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium
Red Deer Rebels forward Ben King fires a shot on goal against the Calgary Hitmen earlier at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Red Deer Rebels forward Ben King will miss a significant portion of the 2022-23 WHL season.

Tuesday, the Rebels announced that the 20-year-old forward is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks with a lower body injury.

King suffered the injury early in the second period on Saturday against the Prince Albert Raiders. He needed help getting to the bench and returned to the bench briefly, before heading back to the locker room.

King, who was drafted in the fourth round, 107th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, had 10 points in five games since being returned to the Rebels earlier this month.

Red Deer sits at 10-0 and are one of the only undefeated teams in the WHL this season, along with the Western Conference’s Seattle Thunderbirds.

While the King news is a tough blow for the Rebels, they did get some positive news about forward Kalan Lind. Lind, 17, was listed Tuesday on the NHL’s Central Scouting Players to Watch list as a B-prospect. A B-Prospect typically means the player is projected to be drafted in the second to third round of the NHL Draft.

Lind has been a huge part of the Rebels’ early season success, with two goals and nine assists over his first 10 games.

The Rebels will host a rare weekday matchup Wednesday night when they welcome the Victoria Royals to town.

Wednesday will be the first time the Royals have visited the Centrium since Jan. 5, 2019. Victoria sits last in the B.C. division through 12 games, with a 2-8-2 record. They’ve scored 31 goals and allowed 47.

Jake Poole, who was traded from the Kelowna Rockets to Victoria leads the Royals with four goals and four assists since joining the club. Teague Patton is their second-leading scorer with 10 points, while Matthew Hodson, Luke Shipley and Riley Gannon each have seven. Tyler Palmer has faced the majority of the action in the Royals net, with 10 starts on the year. He has a 3.63 goals against average, along with a 0.891 save percentage and a 2-6-2 record.

Kyle Kelsey will likely draw the start in the Rebels net and he is near the top of the WHL in a number of categories. The Maple Ridge, B.C., product is is second in the WHL in wins (8), tied for first in shutouts (1), is third in save percentage (.936) and is fifth in the league with a 1.87 goals against average. Captain Jayden Grubbe leads the Rebels with 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in eight games since returning from New York Rangers training camp. He has a point in all eight games he’s played so far.

Forwards Jhett Larson and Kai Uchacz are tied for the team lead with seven goals each, while defenceman Christoffer Sedoff has assists in five-straight games

Red Deer is currently league’s top overall team when it comes to special teams, sitting fourth in the WHL on the power play (28.6 per cent) and second in penalty killing (91.1 per cent).