With the Rebels hunt for a WHL playoff spot possibly coming to an end tonight... let's take a break and talk about what might be ahead for next season.
Let's start by taking a quick look at the 20's eligible to return next season...
Petrovic will most certainly be playing in the AHL next season.
Persson is the x-factor. Should the Islanders decide to sign him now and put him in the AHL or ECHL then that would free up the Rebels to select a skilled forward in the import draft.
Elson I suppose is the other domino to fall. It's quite possible that the Flames will plant him in the AHL next year too (the juggling which Calgary/Abbotsford has had to do because of injuries this week tells shows the Flames organization could always use more forwards).
However... if both Persson and Elson return to the Rebels next season, where does that leave Kambeitz and Inglis? Outside of trying to do too much on his own at times, Inglis has been the Rebels best all-around forward over the last month and half. And considering the Rebels gave up a "top six" forward of their own to get him, Inglis is seemingly a lock to stay... meaning the Captain might be caught in a tough spot.
As for the defence corps... I think we cal all assume that Dumba will be back to anchor the blueline. Petrovic, Weller, and Borejko of course will all be gone. But with the latter two already done due to injuries, the Rebels have a head start on planning for life without them next fall.
Doetzel, Hak, Thiel, and Fafard are all expected to return this fall along with Dumba. Prior to his rib injury, Doetzel showed enough to make me think he will be a solid anchor for the #2 defence pairing. But when it comes to the ginormous amount of ice time that will be made available with Petro's impending departure... the Rebels will likely have to take a 'by committee' approach to filling the void.
But, as 'Section N Deserter' in part pointed out after my blog following the Hitmen game, the resolution of the 20-year-old situation could make acquiring a veteran WHL to help fill the void a definite possibility as well. (I suppose selecting an import defenceman is possible if Persson is gone).