Mayo back from Kings camp, Lindgren returning from Buffalo
Hunter Mayo made like a sponge during his first NHL camp, soaking up anything and everything he could.
“I took a lot out of it and one thing is how fast the hockey is. The pace is just on another level,” the Rebels defenceman said Wednesday after arriving back from the Los Angeles Kings main camp.
“Now I know where I need to get to. It was just a real learning point and a good experience for me. I learned a lot that I can bring to this team and I’ll do whatever I can to help my team out.”
Coming off a strong WHL season in which he scored 18 goals and recorded 42 points, Mayo was passed over in the NHL Draft in June and was invited to attend the Kings development camp during the summer as a free agent.
He then participated in the Kings’ rookie camp and ensuing rookie tournament earlier this month, and from there graduated to main camp last week.
With the bulk of the Kings veterans in Australia for a two game series with the Arizona Coyotes, Mayo was unable to converse with actual NHL players.
However . . .
“I talked to a lot of the American Hockey League guys and kind of got a lot of feedback from them, just the way things work at the next level,” said Mayo, who attended an exhibition game in Anaheim but didn’t dress for the contest.
In the end, he returned to Red Deer with a renewed sense of confidence and the belief that he’s a better player after attending the NHL camp.
“It brings a lot of confidence to me after being at that pace and then coming back to this,” he said. “That experience is going to help me a lot.”
“Just everything (in main camp), the speed, the skill and the physicality just ramps up a notch at that level,” added the six-foot-one, 195-pound defenceman who is heading into his third full season with the Rebels.
“I really tried to be as physical as I could and show the best aspects of my game.”
Mayo received a positive evaluation upon being reassigned to the Rebels.
“I had an exit meeting and was told they were happy with how I did,” said the 19-year-old.
“I brought my game and showed what kind of a player I am. They were happy with that.”
Notable: Defenceman Mats Lindgren was en route to Red Deer Thursday after being reassigned by the Buffalo Sabres and will be in the Rebels lineup for Friday’s game versus the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Peavey Mart Centrium. Lindgren picked up an assist in his lone NHL preseason contest, a 4-1 win over Boston Tuesday. He registered one shot on goal during his 13 minutes and seven seconds of ice time . . . With the return of Lindgren and Mayo from NHL camps this week, the Rebels reassigned 16-year-old blueliner Luke Vlooswyk, the team’s first-round pick in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft, to the Edge School where he will suit up with the U18 prep team. Vlooswyk will be available to the Rebels on an emergency basis . . . Jayden Grubbe, Rebels captain for the past three seasons, was assigned by the Edmonton Oilers to their AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, on Thursday. Grubbe, who is 20, will battle for a roster spot with the Condors but is eligible to return to the Rebels should that not materialize . . . The Tigers are 2-0 this season after defeating the Calgary Hitmen 4-1 and 5-3 last weekend, getting two goals from each of newly named team captain Tyler MacKenzie, a Red Deer product, Andrew Basha and Shane Smith. Basha also added two assists, while Cayden Lindstrom (1g,2a) and Gavin McKenna (1-2) each recorded three points . . . Season tickets for the 2023-24 season are still available. Fans can also purchase half-season, 9-game packs, 3-game packs, and single-game tickets. Visit reddeerrebels.com or call Shaun Richer at 403-341-6000 for details.