When the Western Hockey League announced its plans to open the regular season in January, a window opened for players to find a different place to play in the meantime.
The league made the policy official Friday, allowing WHL players to be temporarily transferred to Junior A, Junior B, and U-18 teams across Western Canada until mid-December when they are expected to report to camp.
“This is an opportunity for WHL roster players to continue their development by playing hockey at a competitive level,” said WHL Commissioner Ron Robison in a press release.
“We felt it was very important to accommodate the requests of WHL roster players to play competitive hockey on a temporary basis in anticipation of WHL Training Camps beginning after Christmas.”
Only one member of the Red Deer Rebels is expected to suit up in the Junior A ranks this season, as forward Jaxsen Wiebe will play for the Nipawin Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Nipawin will play four exhibition games over the next two weeks.
Wiebe played 52 games in his rookie year with the Rebels last season, recording eight goals and nine assists. He also played with the Hawks as a 16-year-old in the 2018-19 season, picking up 13 goals and 13 assists in 48 games. He also played seven playoff contests that year and notched two goals and five assists in seven games.