The Red Deer Rebels coaching and scouting staffs will go back to the future this weekend.
Team owner/president Brent Sutter will be along for the ride as the Western Hockey League club stages its third annual spring camp Friday to Sunday at the Red Deer Arena.
A total of 25 prospects, including the team’s No. 1 picks — forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and defenceman Mathew Dumba — in the last two WHL bantam drafts, will be in attendance for the three two-hour sessions.
“This camp gives the players a chance to see what we’re about as an organization,” Sutter said Tuesday. “They have the opportunity to meet the coaches, scouts, front office staff and trainers, so when they come back in August (for training camp) they can feel more comfortable.
“It also gives them a chance to see where they are at with their development and where they’ll have to be come August. It’s a great opportunity to measure themselves against players of the same age or a year older or younger.” The entire spring camp experience is also an eye-opener for the parents.
“A lot of parents accompany their kids to Red Deer. They come in and see the schools, attend a barbeque and meet with a nutritionist,” said Sutter. “We show them our off-ice training facility (connected to the Rebels dressing room) and the programs we run through the winter.
“It’s a good feeling-out process for everybody, from the parents to the players to everyone in our organization.”
Among the prospects attending camp this year are listed players Brenden Mandrusiak, Kirsten Odendaal and Tanner Dunkle of Red Deer, and Sam Jardine of Lacombe. Mandrusiak tended goal with the midget 15-year-old Red Deer North Star Chiefs during the 2008-09 season and was a teammate of Dunkle, a forward, while Jardine and Odendaal were defencemen with the midget 15-year-old Red Deer IROC Chiefs.
The rest of the group consists of players drafted this year and last, as well as listed prospects Zach Rakochy and Colten Mayor. Forward Nikolas Olsson of Escondido, Calif., selected by the Rebels in the ninth round of this year’s draft, won’t be in attendance this weekend, but will be in main camp Aug. 23-26 at the Centrium.
The on-ice sessions are set for 1:30-3:30 p.m. Friday, 3:15-5:15 p.m. Saturday and 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Sunday.
The list of prospects camp players is as follows (with year of birth, draft/list status, and hometown):
Goal — Zach Rakochy (‘93), listed, Canora, Sask.; Brenden Mandrusiak (‘93), listed, Red Deer; Boulton Pouliot (‘94), seventh round 2009, Calgary.
Defence — Matt Pufahl (‘93), fourth round 2008, Saskatoon; Kirsten Odendaal (‘93), listed, Red Deer; Channing Bresciani (‘93), sixth round 2008, Winnipeg; David Stener (‘94), seventh round 2009, Fort Saskatchewan; Sam Jardine (‘93), listed, Lacombe; Mathew Dumba (‘94), first round 2009, Calgary; Colton Robak (‘93), ninth round, Gilbert Plains, Man.; Lucas Grayson (‘94), sixth round 2009, Port Moody, B.C.
Forwards — Tyson Ness (‘93), seventh round 2008, Grande Prairie; Chase McMurphy (‘94), sixth round 2009, Chestermere; Chad Robinson (‘93), sixth round 2008, Minnedosa, Man.; Tyler Bateman (‘94), 10th round 2009, Kelowna; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (‘93), first round 2008, Burnaby; Joel Hamilton (‘94), fourth round 2009, Cochrane; Colten Meaver (‘93), Edmonton; Colten Mayor (‘93), listed, St. Albert; Mason Burr (‘94), second round 2009, Airdrie; Mark McCoy (‘94), fifth round 2009, Edmonton; Tanner Dunkle (‘93), listed, Red Deer; Daulton Siwak (‘93), second round 2008, Olds; Paul Lamoureux (‘93), eighth round 2008, Sherwood Park; Brooks Maxwell (‘94), eighth round 2009, Raymond.
Contact Greg Meachem at firstname.lastname@example.org