As the Red Deer Rebels topped off a productive week of training camp Wednesday evening with the black and white intrasquad game, owner, president, and general manager Brent Sutter is pleased with how his players performed.
“It was a great camp,” he said. “I thought all the players were really good through camp and I thought the rookie camp was really good. When we moved some of those kids up to the main camp it enhanced the main camp.
“It was competitive and the coaches did a good job of making sure the practices were up-tempo.”
Sutter explained it’s tough to pick specific players who stood out because everyone develops at different stages. The young players are where they are now but in a year’s time will look a lot different.
“The ones that take the steps will be the ones that push forward to play here someday,” he said.
In terms of some of the rookies, Sutter said the scouts and assistant general manager Shaun Sutter were happy with what they saw.
“They improved through camp and we’ll make some announcements in the next day or so about some of the signings and we’re really excited to get these kids signed. They’re a big part of our future,” Sutter added.
In the main camp, the players who were on the team last year and came in during the playoffs to practice with the team had a productive camp. The veterans came into camp in excellent shape and Sutter gave credit to the leadership the experienced players showed through the last seven days.
“The coaches had stressed certain things in the spring when everyone left along with myself and Shaun. For the most part, every individual reached their goals that we talked to them about as far as what we needed them to be like when they came back with conditioning and stuff like that,” he said.
On Thursday morning the team announced the reassignment of 20 players following the end of training camp. The following players have been sent back to their teams: Bryson Aikens, Ahmed Assaf, Harrison Boldt, Rylan Bray, Carter Cole, Cole Connolly, Tate Dolinsky, Slade Firkus, Reece Gault, Boston Harkness, Jaxan Hopko. Jonah Jasser, Mason Karakochuk, Aven Maxcy, Cohen Poulin, Jeramiah Roberts, Sam Rousseau, Steven Steranka, and Derek Thurston.
The Rebels will play their first exhibition game on Friday night in Calgary and will return home to play the Hitmen at the Peavey Mart Centrium Saturday evening.