Taking a look back at the week that was for the Red Deer Rebels:
Wheelin’ and dealin’
The team was involved in two transactions during the last week. In a deal with the Prince Albert Raiders right before puck drop last Tuesday, the team traded for Cohner Saleski. The cost for the Rebels was a sixth-round pick in 2020 and a fourth-round pick in 2021.
In Saleski, the Rebels received a 17-year-old forward with just five WHL games of experience. He is a first-round pick from the 2017 draft and spent much of last season with the Prince Albert Mintos of the SMHL. The right winger collected 28 points in 24 games with the Mintos.
The following day, general manager Brent Sutter made another move, this time sending Ryan Gottfried to the Seattle Thunderbirds. The return for Gottfried was unsigned defenseman Noah Barlage and a conditional seventh-round pick in 2022.
Barlage is a 2018 seventh-round draft pick of the Thunderbirds. He has been plying his trade with the Humboldt Broncos, collecting two assists in six contests this season. Last year, the Humboldt, SK, native played with the Prairie Hockey Academy of the CSSHL e15s. He scored six times and added 16 assists in 25 contests.
The Rebels also had three contests over the last seven days. It started on Tuesday night against the Saskatoon Blades. Despite being outshot 35-24, an outstanding performance from Ethan Anders gave the Rebels their second win of the season. It was the team’s first win on home ice.
On Friday, the team traveled to Swift Current, in hopes of defeating the Broncos. The Broncos have recently moved to the Central Division and were hosting the Rebels for the first time as division rivals. It was a game of firsts for a trio of Rebels, as Christoffer Sedoff (2A), Jayden Grubbe (1A), and Keaton Sorensen (1G) all contributed their first WHL points/goals. The youngsters helped power Red Deer to a 5-1 win over Swift Current and moved the team to .500. Cohner Saleski also picked up his first point as a Red Deer Rebel.
The team then traveled to Medicine Hat to face their fierce rivals in the Tigers. Red Deer had not scored a victory over the Tigers since March 10, 2018. They also had not won in Medicine Hat since March 14, 2017. Despite giving up three separate one-goal leads, the Rebels were able to pull out a 4-3 overtime win. Jaxsen Wiebe scored his first WHL goal to start things off for the Rebels. Ethan Anders was again the story for the Rebels and earned himself WHL Highlight of the Night honours.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) October 6, 2019
The team won it’s third game in a row and were again outshot, this time by a 42-21 margin. With the win, the Rebels are in the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with eight points in seven games. (4-3-0-0). They are just one point behind the Medicine Hat Tigers for third in the division.
On Monday, Anders was named the Eli Wilson Goaltending Goaltender of the Week. His 3-0-0-0 record, to go along with a 1.66 goals-against average and .952 save percentage, was tops in the Western Hockey League. Anders now has a 2.34 GAA on the season as well as a .933 save percentage.
Anders was then named to the Vaughn CHL Team of the Week on Tuesday. He joined Ty Smith as the only other member of the team from the WHL.
Support in a tough time
A colleague, Byron Hackett, wrote this story about Red Deer Rebels Assistant Coach Brad Flynn and his fiancee Christine. It spurred the entire Rebels team to make an extraordinary effort and brought the team closer together in the process. That article can be found in the attached tweet.
First of all, fuck cancer.
Second: thanks to @BMF14 for sharing this story today.
Third: It may seem like a small gesture from these kids, but hopefully it helps in some way.
— Byron Hackett (@RDAbyronhackett) October 2, 2019
NHL Draft news
On Tuesday, NHL Central Scouting released its early rankings for the 2020 NHL draft. On it was Rebels defenseman Christoffer Sedoff. He is currently listed as a ‘B’ prospect, meaning he is projected to be drafted in round two or three.
Should his ranking hold up, the Rebels will have a player selected in the draft again after having one in each of their first 26 seasons before missing out at the 2019 NHL draft.
Jace Isley is the only player on the injured list on the weekly report that came out yesterday. He is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
Next up for the Rebels is a home date on Friday with the Portland Winterhawks. The team will make their biennial appearance at the Westerner Park Centrium. Saturday, the team returns to Medicine Hat to take on the Tigers.