The Red Deer Rebels held their annual prospects camp in Penhold to get a closer look at the future of their franchise.
“This is the 15, 16 year old age group, so a lot of kids are here for the first time,” Assistant General Manager Shaun Sutter said. “In past seasons, we have had 17, 16 and 15-year-olds.
“It is good to see the kids we drafted, minus Jayden Grubbe who has an injury right now.”
One of the skaters at the camp was 2018 16th overall selection, defenceman Kyle Masters, who said the camp has been an opportunity to understand the ins and outs of junior hockey.
“That is the main thing for me as a young guy to take it all in and be a sponge,” Masters said.
Sutter said it is an exciting time for young players.
“You get to see the future of the franchise and you will maybe see them down the road wearing a Rebels jersey. Some kids may rise and come in the picture later on, just like we had last year,” he said.
Sutter said many of the kids may get the opportunity that young Rebel Alexander Morozoff had last season, when a series of mid-season trades led to young players being featured prominently in the push to the playoffs.
“This camp is an orientation camp and then in August, it is the real deal,” Sutter said. “They have to show what they can do then. We constantly provide them feedback and give them things they need to work on. With a lot of these guys, it is just a time thing. Some of them are so young and a year can go a long way.”
Keaton Sorensen, a Red Deer product, is an undrafted kid looking to make an impression on his home WHL team.
“It is pretty cool,” he said. “I love watching the Rebels play and I have went to almost every home game growing up. I always thought about playing for the Rebels and it is pretty cool to finally get the chance.
“I just hope to give 110 per cent and play my hardest. Hopefully they see that.”
Sutter added, “You try to be open-minded and at the same time, give the kids some guidance to help them move forward.”