Newly acquired Lindgren brings offensive skills to Rebels back end
The Red Deer Rebels added an offensive weapon to their blueline Monday with the acquisition of Mats Lindgren from the Kamloops Blazers.
The Rebels, in return, sent defenceman Kyle Masters, 19, to the Blazers along with a lottery-protected first-round pick in the 2025 WHL Prospects Draft. If the Rebels are part of the 2025 draft lottery, the first-round pick going to Kamloops will move to the 2026 draft.
Both Lindgren, who turned 18 last week, and Masters were selected in the fourth round of the NHL entry draft, Masters by Minnesota in 2021 and Lindgren by Buffalo this year.
A native of North Vancouver who holds both Canadian and Swedish citizenship, Lindgren enjoyed a strong sophomore season with the Blazers, scoring five goals and recording 44 points in 68 regular-season games, then adding seven assists in 17 playoff contests.
Selected seventh overall in the 2019 WHL draft, he also had a plus-minus rating of plus-25 in ’21-22 and racked up 42 minutes in penalties.
“He’s a player who is very active in the play, skates fairly well and moves the puck well. He’s a smart player and someone who can run a power play,” said Rebels GM Brent Sutter.
“With the amount of points he had in our league as a 17-year-old playing defence . . . that’s pretty good. At the end of the day you have to give up something to get something.
“A player like Kyle Masters, you’re never going to move him unless you’re getting a very good player back in return. At the end of the day, you want a trade to work out for both organizations, for both players.
“Both players want to get to where they want to go and hopefully that can happen for both of them. Both organizations are happy with it, both players are happy with the trade. Hopefully it works out well for everybody.”
Masters, selected by the Rebels 16th overall in the 2018 WHL draft, is also viewed as an offensive defenceman and garnered three goals and 14 points in 65 regular-season games in ’21-22, and added two assists in 10 playoff outings. He will get a chance to play to the end of the 2022-23 season as the Blazers will host the Memorial Cup tournament.
While the Rebels didn’t necessarily want to move Masters, in the six-foot, 176-pound Lindgren they are getting a player whom Sutter compared to a former WHL star who is now a vital piece of the Vegas Golden Knights blueline.
“I don’t like to make comparisons but when I’ve watched him play he reminds me of someone who used to play in our league, Shea Theodore,” said Sutter.
“I don’t like comparing players, but just the way he plays is the way Theodore played in our league. He will boost our back end, give us some more offence. He’s probably a little more established that way than Kyle is, that’s why the first-round pick is involved.”
Lindgren will be used on the Rebels’ power play and if Christoffer Sedoff, who will attend the Calgary Flames prospects camp in mid-September, is back with the team, the two could be a dominant man advantage duo.
“Basically what we’ve done is give the coaches another weapon back there who can help our team be successful,” said Sutter. “I like him a lot as a player, it’s nice to have a defenceman who can skate and create offence.
“You can tell he’s also a very team orientated player, a coachable player. That’s exciting for our coaches.”
Lindgren will report for training camp Thursday and will be on the ice Friday with the Rebels’ veterans.
Main camp and rookie camp will run together through Monday. Main camp practices and a scrimmage will be held Tuesday with the Black and White intrasquad game set for Wednesday.