Monday, December 29, 2014

Rebels: December Deals Have Memorial Cup In Mind

The WHL Trade Deadline does not arrive for another two weeks (January 10).
Brent Sutter isn’t waiting that long to make what he hopes are drastic improvements to his Red Deer Rebels club.
Four new names have been added to the Rebels roster since December 1…

  • Riley Sheen, F, 20, acquired from Lethbridge along with a conditional 5th round selection in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft in exchange for 20-year old Devan Fafard and 17-year old forward Brayden Burke

  • Nelson Nogier, 18, D, and Austin Adamson, F, 18, acquired from Saskatoon in exchange for in exchange for 17-year old forward Mason McCarty, the Rebels 1st round selection in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, and a 2nd round pick in 2015

  • Colton Bobyk, D, 18, acquired from Spokane along with a 4th round selection in 2016 in exchange for 19-year old defenceman Nick Charif, a 2nd round pick in 2015 and a conditional 6th round selection in 2016

Clearly, the Rebels have paid high prices to bring these players in. It is also clear that Sutter believes these players are the right fit for his club.

“You always want deals to work out for all the players involved and [what’s] best for both organizations,” Brent told Cam Moon during Saturday’s Rebels vs. Oil Kings broadcast on 106.7 The Drive. “Saskatoon and Spokane are happy with the returns they are getting and we’re certainly happy with the players we’re getting.”

In Bobyk, the Rebels gain another hometown Red Deer product with a Telus Cup title to his credit. They also get a defenceman seeking to get re-established after dealing with a long-term injury.

“We expect him to be the same kind of player that he was with the midgets. He can skate, he can move the puck, he can really hammer the puck, he’s got a great shot and he’s got an edge to his game and I really like that,” says Sutter. “To acquire a player like this now, a year from now we could be looking at something completely different as far as what the price of that player is.”

Nogier is undoubtedly the key piece in the deal that brought him and Adamson over from the Blades, Sutter is confident he will be worth the first round pick it cost to get him.

“We knew [defence] was an area we needed to upgrade. We knew we wanted to be a real good puck moving, smart defensive corps that can really play the game any way you want to play it. With Haydn and Doetz and Cote as a 20-year old, who’s having an outstanding year, Strand, Mahura, Grman, and Dixon we really feel our back end is in a different spot now than it was going into the first part of December.”

The December additions of Nogier, Adamson and Bobyk, along with the earlier addition of Tyler Sandhu, all come with a two-year plan in mind. Each now has a lengthy audition period to try and prove they are indeed worthy of playing in the big event.

“It’s important that we have a very, very good team this year and next year,” Sutter explains. “We feel with the trades we’ve made that we certainly have upgraded our team this year. At the same time, we can look forward to next year knowing some of the pieces we have put in place.

Is Sutter done with his wheeling and dealing or is there more to come?

“I’m not truly thinking there’s anything else done with us, but you never know what might come about and what might unfold. We’ll see how it goes but I certainly happy to go after the trade deadline with the group we have and take a run at this thing.”

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