Glover happy for fresh start with Rebels
The newest member of the Red Deer Rebels won’t miss having to suit up against the team.
“I’m really excited, it’s a great team here,” overage forward Austin Glover said Thursday, less than 24 hours after being acquired from the Prince Albert Raiders and mere minutes following his arrival in Red Deer.
“Obviously I played against them for four years. Brent (GM/head coach Sutter) always has a really good team and I always found them really tough to play against. So I’m really excited to come in and get things started.”
The six-foot-two, 184-pound right winger didn’t come straight out and say that he was hoping for a trade out of Prince Albert, but he dropped more than subtle hints that that was the case.
The Raiders are suffering through a woeful season and sit last overall in the Western Hockey League with just eight wins and 18 points. Glover was second in team scoring with 12 goals and 26 points in 35 games when he departed.
“This year was kind of a struggle. I was working to maybe get some looks and I’m pretty grateful to come to a team like this,” he said.
At the same time, Glover wasn’t necessarily anticipating a trade.
“There’s always talk, but I just focused on playing my game, working hard and hopefully grabbing some attention,” he said.
The notion of playing for a team that should qualify for the playoffs as opposed to a club that almost certainly will not, is appealing to Glover.
“I think this is a contending team,” he said. “It was never easy coming in here and playing, so I’m looking forward to joining a team that kind of has that confidence and just brings an all around game.”
Glover went to Prince Albert in a multi-player deal with the Kelowna Rockets two years ago. In the 2014-15 season he put up 39 points (16g,23a) in 55 games split between the Raiders and Rockets and last season – an injury-plagued campaign in which he suffered a broken wrist — he produced 36 points (10-26) in 42 games.
While a member of the Rockets, the native of Clavet, Sask. — located 31 km southeast of Saskatoon — played with Team West in the 2013 World Under 17 Challenge in Quebec. One of his teammates was former Rebels defenceman Nelson Nogier, then with the Saskatoon Blades.
Through Nogier, he met current Rebels defenceman Colton Bobyk and attended the Dallas Stars training camp in September with injured Red Deer forward Grayson Pawlenchuk.
“I’m familiar with a few of the guys here so it should be a pretty easy transition,” he said. “I just met most of the guys here 10 minutes ago. I have to go in there (locker room) and get settled in.”
Sutter will slot Glover into a top-six role for Friday’s home date with the Kootenay Ice and the 20-year-old will almost certainly skate on one of the club’s top two lines through the remainder of the season.
“He’s a guy who has some size, can skate and is a skilled player,” said Sutter, who surrendered 17-year-old forward D-Jay Jerome and a third-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft in the transaction. “He’s also a smart player and that’s what I like about him.
“We had an open 20-year-old spot and this was an opportunity to acquire someone without having to sell the farm. He’s a welcome addition to our hockey team.”
Sutter said the deal was finalized just as the Rebels bus pulled into Rogers Place prior to Wednesday’s 7-2 loss to the host Edmonton Oil Kings.
“Unfortunately I had to let D-Jay know once we got in, but that’s just the way it works,” said the Rebels boss.
“It (trade) had to be done before their (Raiders’) game last night so they could bring in another 20-year-old (Kolten Olynek) to play.”
Sutter was confident he could afford to send Jerome to the Raiders due to the depth among younger players in the organization.
“You want a trade to work for everybody,” he said. “Yes, we’re losing years, but we just feel that we have some good 16-year-olds and some 15-year-old players who are probably even further ahead of where D-Jay is right now.”
Sutter still sees Jerome as a forward with potential.
“We feel D-Jay has some great offensive upside and some skill sets,” he said. “He has to get bigger and stronger and he has some things in his game he needs to work on.
“Unfortunately he was our 13th and 14th forward here and he wasn’t going to get an opportunity to play much the rest of the year. I had to do what I felt was right for him and for our hockey team and the right thing for him is giving him an opportunity to play.
“P.A. wants to put some young guys in their lineup and hopefully he can thrive there. I hope he goes there and plays extremely well.”
Just notes: The Rebels will honour Cam Moon, the club’s long-time director of media relations and broadcasts, by offering 400 bobbleheads of his likeness to fans attending Friday’s game, which will mark Moon’s 1,500th radio call of Red Deer WHL games . . . Rebels netminder Lasse Petersen made 32 saves Thursday as Denmark (1-1-0-1) upset the Czech Republic 3-2 in overtime in the world junior championship tournament. Red Deer forwards Michael Spacek (1g,2a) and Adam Musil (1g,1a) have three and two points, respectively, for the 1-0-2 Czechs.
Rebels vs. Kootenay Ice; Friday, 7 p.m., Enmax Centrium
The Ice, 2-6-2-0 in their last 10 games, occupy sixth spot in the Central Division and sit 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 7-23-7-1 record . . . Overage RW Zak Zborosky, who will be a coveted player approaching/at the Jan. 10 trade deadline, is Kootenay’s premier player with 26 goals and 40 points. He recorded a hat trick as the Ice up-ended the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes 6-4 Tuesday (the ‘Canes took the second half of the home-and-home 4-1 Wednesday). C Matt Alfaro, also 20 and another possible trade target, has contributed 11 goals and 35 points, while D Cale Fleury (6-18-24) and C Vince Loschiavo (12-8-20) have also reached or surpassed the 20-point mark . . . Payton Lee, Kootenay’s third overage player, is 29th among WHL netminders with a 3.99 goals-against average. He also possesses a respectable .901 save percentage.
Injuries: Kootenay — C Shane Allan (lower body, indefinite), D Nikita Radzivilyuk (upper body, 3-5 weeks). Red Deer — D Jared Freadrich (upper body, week-to-week), RW Reese Johnson (upper body, indefinite), LW Grayson Pawlenchuk (upper body, indefinite).
Special teams: Kootenay — Power play 15.2 per cent, 19th overall; penalty kill 76.5 per cent, 18th. Red Deer — Power play, 17.7 per cent, 15th overall; penalty kill 77.3 per cent, 15th.