Masters making an impact in Rebels camp
He’s been a big hit in his second Red Deer Rebels training camp, in more ways than one.
Defenceman Kyle Masters has not only displayed his elite skating and puck-moving skills, but also a willingness to mix it up physically.
“I’m very competitive. I’ve always been competitive growing up,” he said Thursday following a main camp scrimmage at the Centrium. “I like to think I play with an edge a little bit, just trying to get under the other guys’ skin but at the same time knowing my job.”
Masters was the Rebels’ second first-round pick in the 2018 WHL bantam draft, taken 16th overall after the team selected forward Jayden Grubbe — another promising prospect — with the seventh pick.
The slick rearguard went on to score five goals and collect 20 points in 35 games with the OHA Edmonton midget prep team last season. He also racked up 48 minutes in penalties.
Masters, as did Grubbe, played for Team Alberta in the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer and was a standout at a recent Hockey Canada under-17 selection camp.
Fleet of foot, Masters, who will celebrate his 16th birthday Sept. 4, can both headman and transport the puck with authority, skills that he’s been able to showcase during this week’s training camp.
“I try to. I like to fool around with the puck and be creative, so I try and display that,” he said. “I think it’s been good. I’m just trying to learn as much as i can and trying to apply it to the game.
“Camp has been a great experience on and off the ice. All the guys have been very welcoming.”
Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter has been suitably impressed with the Edmonton product.
“He’s been a real good player here. Obviously he has a tremendous amount of talent and ability and he’s a player who loves the game,” said the Rebels boss.
“He plays with an edge, but his instincts and hockey sense are very good. He’s going to be like a young mustang on the back end. We’re going to have to just make sure he just continues to grow his whole game.”
Sutter has been entertained by Masters’ up-ice rushes — and a highlight reel, penalty shot goal he scored earlier in the week — but added the youngster will have to use his teammates more once he cracks the Rebels’ regular-season lineup, which almost certainly will be this year.
“It’s great that he’s trying them here, but he’s not going to be able to do some things he did in midget once the season starts,” said Sutter.
While size isn’t one of Masters’ attributes, he did manage to add six pounds to his frame during the off-season, going from 155 pounds to 161.
“The main goal during the summer was to put on some weight and every little bit counts,” he said. “Being a little guy to start off, you always try to get bigger.”
Masters has also grown an inch over the past several months and now checks in at five-foot-11.
“But I have some tall hair. I’m six-one with the hair,” he joked.
Masters and his Team Black mates posted a 6-4 regulation-time win over Team White in Thursday’s main camp scrimmage. The score didn’t include the post-game penalty shots.
Scoring for the winners were Trey Patterson, Jacob Herauf, Josh Tarzwell, Braden Fischer, Zak Smith and Jace Isley. Team White starting netminder Chase Coward was victimized for five goals, while veteran Ethan Anders surrendered one in the second half of the contest.
Ryan Gottfried, Brett Davis, Chris Douglas and Blake Sydlowski replied for Team White, beating Team Black netminder Eric Ward for one goal during the first half and then Byron Fancy for three.
The Rebels’ top three picks — defencemen Hunter Mayo and Jace Weir and forward Carter Anderson — played in the main camp scrimmage after being moved up from rookie camp.
Five more rookie camp skaters — forwards Connor Poffenroth, Hunter Brown, Parker Lalonde, Jhett Larson and Declan Cosford — will join the main campers Friday and will play in Saturday’s 11 a.m. Black and White game.
The final main camp scrimmage — a preview of the Black and White Game — is set for 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Main camp rosters (includes year of birth and hometown; x-returnee)
Team A Black
Goal — x-Byron Fancy, 2001, Claresholm; Eric Ward, 2001, Edmonton.
Defence — x-Ethan Sakowich, 1999, Athabasca; Kyle Masters, 2003, Edmonton; Trey Patterson, 2003, Calgary; x-Jacob Herauf, 2000, Sherwood Park; Mason Ward, 2002, Lloydminster; Hunter Mayo, 2004, Saskatoon; Jace Weir, 2004, Coldstream, B.C.
Forwards — x-Josh Tarzwell, 2000, Red Deer; Keaton Sorensen, 2002, Red Deer; Jaxsen Wiebe, 2002, Moose Jaw; Braden Fischer, 2002, Winnipeg; x-Alex Morozoff, 2001, Saskatoon; x-Zak Smith, 2001, Austin, Man.; Jace Isley, 2002, Grande Prairie; Ethan Rowland, 2002, Calgary; x-Cameron Hausinger, 1999, Anchorage, Alaska.
Team B White
Goal — x-Ethan Anders, 2000, Pilot Butte, Sask; Chase Coward, 2003, Swift Current.
Defence — Christoffer Sedoff, 2002, Helsinki, Finland; x-Dawson Barteaux, 2000, Foxwarren, Man.; x-Chase Leslie, 2002, Camrose; Jeremy Hancock, 2003, Melfort, Sask.; x-Ryan Gottfried, 2001, Winnipeg; Blake Gustafson, 2002, Ardrossan.
Forwards — x-Dallon Melon, 2002, Czar; x-Brett Davis, 1999, Winnipeg; Jordan Borysiuk, 2002, Lloydminster; x-Arshdeep Bains, 2001, Surrey, B.C.; Carter Anderson, 2004, Thompson, Man.; Jayden Grubbe, 2003, Calgary; x-Chris Douglas, 2000, Richmond, B.C.; Josh Medernach, 2003, Lloydminster; x-Blake Sydlowski, 2001, St. Albert.