Red Deer Rebel Lane Zablocki celebrates a goal last season. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Zablocki back and ready to lead Rebels

Red Deer Rebels forward Lane Zablocki beamed about his time in Detroit.

The gritty winger, sporting a Tigers ball cap on Thursday at practice in Red Deer, said his time in the Motor City taught him a variety of lessons about the NHL game.

Skating alongside Red Wings stalwart Henrik Zetterberg, in particular, was a huge highlight, he said. The Swedish centerman has played his entire 12-year career in Detroit, and has been the captain for the last four seasons.

“Just watching him … every time he touches the puck everyone’s eyes are on him. (Watching) those kind of guys, is just a big eye opener for me.” Zablocki said.

Zablocki, 19, was drafted in the third round, 79th overall by the Detroit this summer.

The six-foot, 182-pound winger said beyond the physical difference, he got more comfortable as camp went on and hopes he can carry that strength to the WHL this season.

“Seeing those guys out there, they’re not taller. They’re a lot stronger, but they’re not huge,” Zablocki said.

“They’re smart, they just make the right play all the time and they are quick with their decisions. It shows that you don’t have to be a real big guy out there to make an impact.”

For the time being, the Wetaskawin native will try to make his impact felt on the ice at the Centrium when the Rebels open the season at home against the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday.

Zablocki said he hopes to apply what he learned with the Red Wings, including getting stronger and making faster plays, to his games this season.

More than 64 games with the Regina Pats and Rebels last year, Zablocki had 28 goals and 54 points last year. In 18 career playoff games between Regina and Red Deer, he also has 15 goals.

“I think I’m going to be the same player as last year,” said Zablocki. “Just better in little areas. Making better decisions out there and more discipline. Little things that can make me a better player and better teammate.

“It feels like training camp just started. Now that I’m back, I think everyone in the room is ready to start playing some games and I’m really looking forward to it.”

RedDeerRebelsWestern Hockey LeagueWHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drugs seized from Innisfail home

Innisfail RCMP conduct search warrant

Police move to clear rail blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY, Ont. — Ontario Provincial Police moved Monday morning to… Continue reading

Company walks away from massive oilsands project

VANCOUVER — Teck Resources Ltd. has withdrawn its application for a massive… Continue reading

Skeptic of world being round dies in California rocket crash

BARSTOW, Calif. — A California man who said he wanted to fly… Continue reading

Markets tank on concern about virus impact on world economy

BANGKOK — Shares skidded, oil prices sank and the price of gold… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Raptors Uprising GC offer second chance to gamer suspended for 2019 season

TORONTO — Raptors Uprising GC, the gaming arm of the Raptors, has… Continue reading

Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson wins Canadian women’s curling championship

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — A dream team of former skips came together… Continue reading

Weinstein jury back to work with signs of split over charges

NEW YORK — Jurors at Harvey Weinstein’s New York City rape trial… Continue reading

Jane Goodall’s ‘The Book of Hope’ coming out in 2021

NEW YORK — Jane Goodall’s next book will be a tribute to… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake Wranglers comeback to nab OT win in Game 2 over Red Deer Vipers

The Sylvan Lake Wranglers have a knack for the dramatics early in… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Most Read