Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rebels Prospects Update

The Red Deer Rebels continue to build toward the future in addition to their mission to win the 2016 Mastercard Memorial Cup they’ll be hosting in May.

The goal is to return to being the perennial championship contender they were in the early 2000’s. For that to happen, you need not only to have a strong current roster but also a full cupboard of prospects.

Cam Moon, being the legendary voice of the Rebels that he is, recently sat down for a chat with Shaun Sutter, Assistant GM and Director of Player Personnel. Sutter, as he does so well, gave Mooner a rundown of some prospects that are off to strong starts this season.

“A lot of guys are playing well and that’s what we want to see,” Sutter said. “We want to see progress and development throughout the year in areas where guys want to work on and where they need to improve.”

“Internally, there is probably as much talk about next year and what we have inside our organization for what we are building going ahead because we are striving toward being a contending team every year and these guys are going to be a part of that.”

Here’s what Shaun had to say about some of them, starting with a hometown Red Deerian…

G Dawson Weatherill (1999 born)
- Red Deer native, goaltender with the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs
- Selected by the Rebels in the second round, 36th overall, in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft
- Named AMHL October Player of the Month in the Chrysler Division
- Leads AMHL goalies with .958 save percentage and 1.33 GAA
Sutter – “Right now, Dawson is the best goaltender in the AMHL and when you are the best player on a team that is in first place that obviously says quite a bit. Coming back from an injury, he played very well. He’s a Red Deer kid playing for a Red Deer team and is a high Rebels draft pick so for him to perform in that scenario proves his mental state and how well he is developing.”

D Jacob Herauf (2000)
- The Rebels first round selection, 16th overall, in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft
- Sherwood Park AMHL, 2 points and 6 PIM through 9 games
Sutter – “His points aren’t there but he is playing a very polished game. We’ve been working with him on his positional play and his puck management and those are areas he progressing very well in. It looks like he is going to be a polished player when he comes in as a 16-year-old.”

F Eli Zummack (2000)
- Rebels second round pick, 36th overall, in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft
- Tournament All-Star with Team BC at the Western Canada U 16 Challenge Cup
- One of the leading scorers in the BC Major Midget league, 19 points in 13 games with the Okanagan Rockets
Sutter – “He was an offensive go-to guy on [Team BC], playing centre and showed is one of the most skilled guys in his age group. His production was there, getting a point a game, so that was really good.”

F Brendan Budy (2000)
- 4th round pick, 69th overall in 2015
- Also played for Team at the U 16 event
- 25 points in 12 games this season with Delta Hockey Academy
Sutter - “He played right wing [at the U 16’s] and that’s the first time he’s played right wing, so he was a bit out of position. Offensively, he maybe didn’t have the tournament that he wanted to but you could still see the skill and the sense and the skating, just like Rebels fans saw at training camp.

F Chase Lowry (2000)
- 3rd round pick, 50th overall, in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft… Rebels used their pick acquired from Saskatoon in the Connor Gay trade to select Lowry
- Forward with the Edmonton SSAC United Cycle Bulldogs of the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League
- Leading scorer in the league with 29 points through 11 games played
Sutter – “He continues to be a dominant player at that level, leads the league in scoring… has the puck on his stick the entire game.”
Other players highlighted by Sutter during his chat with Cam…

F Dylan Bourlai (1999)
- Forward, Captain of Edmonton MLAC, fourth in AMHL in penalty minutes
- A player who has come from well off the radar to gain the attention of Rebels scouts
Sutter – “Even though he’s not always on the scoresheet, when you go to watch a game he’s always involved because someone wants to kill him or he’s trying to kill someone else. It’s always nice to have those players who bring that grit and scrappiness.”

F Zak Gladu (1998)
- Started the season with Drayton Valley (AJHL) before landing in Kindersley (SJHL)
- Two points and four penalty minutes in his first four games with the Clippers
- 10 points in 42 games in Midget AAA with Medicine Hat in 2014-15

F Akash Bains (1999)
- Forward selected by the Rebels in the 9th round of the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft
- Started this season on the Rebels roster, did not play prior heading to Delta Hockey Academy Prep where he has collected 18 points through 11 games
Sutter – “He’s a guy, as Rebels fans saw while he was playing with us, that’s kind of a throwback who compliments skilled players and does all the details really well”

F Chase Stevenson (1999)
- 10th round pick in 2014
- Okanagan Rockets, BC Major Midget Hockey League (teammate of Zummack)
- 16-year-old late round draft pick who has found his game as an offensive contributor, helping to lead a team turnaround

D Cale Chalifoux (1998)
- 6th round pick in 2013
- 3 points, 16 PIM in 21 games with the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks this season

D Ethan Sakowich (1999)
- 3rd round pick in 2014
- Played in two games with the Rebels before going to the AMHL with Fort Saskatchewan
- 5 points, 24 PIM in first 5 games with the Rangers this season

F Brayden Labant (1999)
- 8th round pick in 2014
- 6 points in 9 games this season with Fort Saskatchewan Rangers AMHL

D Benjamin “Boo” Grist (1999)
- 6th round pick in 2014
- Point per game player among leaders in defence scoring with Shawnigan Lake School Prep in the CSSHL

D Spencer McHardy, Edge Academy
- 8th round pick in 2015
- 3 points, 14 PIM in 11 games played

G Riley Kohonick (2000)
- Goaltender, Midget AA Notre Dame Hounds
- A 15-year-old list player playing against 17-year-olds
- 2.00 GAA in five games played this season 

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