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.”

byron.hackett@reddeeradvocate.com

Just Posted

Walk raises awareness, money for overdose awareness in Red Deer

More than 90 people gathered in Red Deer to break the stigma… Continue reading

Ponoka RCMP looking for missing man

Ponoka RCMP is asking the public to help find a man who… Continue reading

Woman killed in collision west of Rocky Mountain House

A 42-year-old woman is dead after a two-vehicle collision in Clearwater County… Continue reading

Rough camper “tree house” found hidden in Red Deer woods

“This took a bit of work,” says man who discovered it

Central Alberta has one less peacekeeper with death of Nobel Prize-winning vet

The late Wayne Coubrough and Wayne Bevis helped diffuse tensions in the Middle East

WATCH: Snakes, lizards and more at the Western Canadian Reptile Expo in Red Deer

The 10th annual Western Canadian Reptile Expo is this weekend in Red… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday and Sept. 3 The Tony Connelly Singers provide an opportunity to… Continue reading

Regina police officer charged with impaired driving after hit-and-run

Regina police say a member of the force has been charged after… Continue reading

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

OTTAWA — Samantha Reusch is aiming to help young Canadians identify misinformation… Continue reading

Trade to dominate Trudeau-Trump bilateral meeting during G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived Friday for this weekend’s… Continue reading

Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

RIO DE JANEIRO — Backed by military aircraft, Brazilian troops on Saturday… Continue reading

Economic storm clouds hovering over Trump and global leaders

BIARRITZ, France — Under the threatening clouds of a global economic slowdown,… Continue reading

‘Red flag laws’ offer tool for preventing some gun violence

After a white supremacist discussed plans on Facebook for a mass shooting… Continue reading

Hong Kong police and protesters clash, ending violence lull

Hong Kong protesters threw bricks and gasoline bombs at police, who responded… Continue reading

Most Read