With 29 seasons under their belt as well as a Memorial Cup championship, the Red Deer Rebels have sent a plethora of players to the NHL as well as other professional leagues. Some have gone on to stardom, others have played lesser roles, and others have not panned out at all.
Today we will look at the shortlist of players who scored at least 100 points in the regular season.
Greg Schmidt (45G, 53A in 1996-97 season)
Schmidt missed six games in the regular season and at his 1.48 points per game in 1996-97, it is very likely he would have secured the two points required to hit the 100 point threshold. Schmidt had the ninth longest point streak of the 1996-97 season where he scored 10 goals and added 16 assists over 13 games. Another Rebels player did break the threshold that season and Arron Asham was just two points behind Schmidt as the Rebels piled up 317 goals en route to third in the Central Division. The team made it to the Eastern Conference Final where Schmidt added 21 more points (6G, 15A) through the team’s 16 playoff games.
101 – Kyle Wanvig (55G, 46A in 2000-01 season)
Wanvig began his WHL journey as a member of the Edmonton ICE, which later became the Kootenay ICE. A fifth-round pick by Edmonton in the 1996 WHL Bantam Draft, Wanvig made his WHL debut during the 1997-98 season. The season before joining the Rebels, Wanvig had 32 points in 71 games with Kootenay. Following an early-season trade to the Rebels, Wanvig scored 21 times and added 18 assists in 58 games. In the 2000-01 season, Wanvig broke out scoring 55 times over 69 games and added 46 assists. It was the year the Rebels were off to their best-ever season, posting a 54-12-3-3 record on their way to a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup win. The longest point streak by a Rebel was Wanvig’s 15 games in which he had 17 goals and 14 assists from February 2, 2001, to March 3, 2001. In this season Wanvig had 33 multi-point games, including a six-point night and two four-point nights.
102 – Brandon Hagel (41G, 61A in 2018-19 season)
The most recent player to break the 100-point barrier, Hagel did it while leading the team by 49 points. Hagel was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres following the 2015-16 season in which he scored 13 goals and added 34 assists in 72 games. Buffalo never signed him to a contract so Hagel got to work in his 20-year-old season. While Red Deer only went on to post a 33-29-4-2 record and went out in the first round of the playoffs, Hagel was the team leader in goals, assists, and points and moved into second all-time on the points scored list with 279 points, fifth in goals with 103, and first in assists with 176. He was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks that off-season and has since earned a roster spot with the NHL club. Hagel had 25 multi-point games including two five-point nights and five four-point nights.
103 Shawn McNeil (44G, 59A in 1998-99 season)
The only Rebel to have two 100+ point seasons, McNeil actually had fewer points as a 20-year-old. Originally a Kamloops Blazer, McNeil was brought to Red Deer by Wayne Simpson. McNeil had 32 multi-point games during the season including three four-point games. In his second season with the Rebels, McNeil helped guide the team to a 34-33-5 record, good for second in the Central Division. McNeil had a 12 game point streak from September 25th, 1998, to October 28, 1998, where he scored eight goals and added nine assists. The team made it to the second round of the playoffs before their exit at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen, the eventual Ed Chynoweth Cup champions. McNeil added 15 points in nine playoff games. The following season McNeil was off to play professional hockey in the ECHL with the Louisiana IceGators.
106 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (31G, 75A in 2010-11 season)
The player known as ‘Nuge’ only played two seasons with Red Deer, and it was his second season, as a 17-year-old, that earned him his place in the Rebels record books. The Rebels selected Nugent-Hopkins 1st overall at the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft. The world was ready for another big star to come out of the WHL and Nugent-Hopkins didn’t disappoint. In a five-game call-up as a 15-year-old, ‘Nuge’ scored twice and added four assists. He was ready to make his full-time mark on Red Deer the following season and potted 24 goals to go with 41 assists. Nugent-Hopkins won the WHL Rookie of the Year as well as being named to the CHL All-rookie team. In his draft year, he really took off. Red Deer ended the season as the second-best team in the entire WHL with a 48-16-4-4 record. Nugent-Hopkins had 32 multi-point games including a six-point game, one five-point game, and three four-point games. He also had a 10 game point streak where he scored seven times and added 20 assists from January 23, 2011, until February 12, 2011. The team was surprised by the Medicine Hat Tigers in the second round of the playoffs and exited the chase for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. Nugent-Hopkins was then drafted by the Edmonton Oilers first overall and immediately left to play in the NHL as an 18-year-old.
109 Shawn McNeil (47G, 62A in 1997-98 season)
Red Deer was not a very good team in the 1997-98 season but the highlight was the 109-point season by McNeil. The big output came following his trade from the Kamloops Blazers, and his being drafted by the Washington Capitals in the third round of the 1996 draft. Despite having back-to-back 100+ point seasons, McNeil never made it beyond the ECHL. The Rebels were 27-40-5, still good enough for third in the Central Division in 1997-98 but were ousted in the first round by Swift Current. McNeil had 34 multi-point games including one five-point night and four four-point nights.
111 Dean Tiltgen (50G, 61A in 1992-93 season)
Under head coach Peter Anholt, in the first season of the Red Deer Rebels, Dean Tiltgen created a highpoint in a tough inaugural season. With team records being set in the first season, Tiltgen made sure to set the bar high as an 18-year-old in his third WHL season. His point scoring record stood for just one season before being toppled. The team went on to post a respectable 31-39-2 record earning the team its first-ever playoff spot. Saskatoon took Red Deer out in four games. Tiltgen played the next season in Victoria and Tri-City before returning to Red Deer for the final 23 games of his WHL career in the 1994-95 season.
114 B.J. Young (58G, 56A in 1996-97 season)
The only player not from Canada on this list, Young helped bring the Rebels to prominence in the 1996-97 season. Coached by Rick Carriere, the Rebels improved 28 points from the previous season, heading towards a 43-26-3 record and the team’s first long playoff run. In the conference finals against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the Rebels fell 4-1 ending their best season to date. Young added 22 points in his 16 playoff games to his 114 point regular season. Young also had 34 multi-point games which included two six-point games, a five-point game as well as three four-point games. There was a 14 game point streak from October 8, 1996, to November 8, 1996, for Young where he scored 15 goals and added 17 assists and another streak of 12 games from January 25, 1997, to February 19, 1997, where he scored 12 times and added 13 assists. Yet another point streak, of 11 games from December 3, 1996, to January 18, 1997, added 11 goals and 11 assists to his point totals.
119 Craig Reichert (52G, 67A in 1993-94 season)
A record that remained intact for seven seasons, Reichert nearly doubled his point production from the previous season. The Rebels meanwhile only made a slight improvement over their inaugural season, jumping seven points to a 35-36-1 record and another first-round exit, this time at the hands of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Reichert was a third-round pick of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1994 following his record season and went on to appear in three NHL games. By 2003, Reichert was out of hockey.
120 Justin Mapletoft (43G, 77A in 2000-01 season)
Mapletoft spent his entire career as a Red Deer Rebel after being selected sixth overall at the 1996 WHL Bantam Draft. His 77 assists remain as the all-time single-season record along with his 120 points in 2000-01. Mapletoft is third all-time in Red Deer Rebels scoring with 115 goals and 160 assists. In the 2000-01 season, Red Deer had its best single-season record of 54-12-3-3, won the Ed Chynoweth Cup and the Memorial Cup. Mapletoft added 34 points (13G, 21A) in 22 playoff games. He had 36 multi-point games including a six-point game, a five-point game, and five four-point games. Mapletoft had an 11 game point streak from February 24, 2001 until the end of the season, scoring 10 goals and adding 12 assists. In 1999, Mapletoft was drafted by the New York Islanders and he saw 38 games of action with the team. He retired following the 2011-12 season.