Rebels add Campese, Herauf to roster
Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter is confident that Matt Campese will be more than a spare part with the team.
Sutter added Campese to the Rebels roster Thursday and also recalled defenceman Jacob Herauf from the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings.
Campese, a 19-year-old forward, was released by the Kamloops Blazers in late September and was playing with the West Kelowna Warriors of the junior A BCHL when Sutter secured his WHL rights.
Sutter considered making the move earlier in the season.
“We discussed it a while back and yet I just wanted to give it some time to see where our team is at, what our depth is like,” he said.
Sutter noted that Campese will serve as an insurance policy prior to and following the Christmas break with Michael Spacek and possibly team captain Adam Musil playing for the Czech Republic in the worlds juniors.
“We just thought that he’s a guy we can bring in, is cost effective and has experience in the league — he’s been in the league since he was 16 years old,” said the Rebels boss.
Campese, a five-foot-10, 180-pound winger, suited up with the Victoria Royals for one game as a 16-year-old and played 14 games with the club the following season (2014-15) before being dealt to the Kamloops Blazers.
He contributed two goals and three points in 35 games split between Victoria and Kamloops that season and last winter recorded eight goals and 12 points in 56 games with the Blazers. He garnered a single assist in two games this fall before being released.
He had more offensive success in West Kelowna, putting up 17 points (6g,11a) in 15 games.
Sutter doesn’t expect him to average a point per game at the major junior level but sees the Prince Albert product — and the son of former WHL general manager and coach and current Vegas Golden Knights scout Bruno Campese — as a serviceable player.
“We decided to bring him in and maybe re-energize him a bit,” said Sutter. “At the same time we’re adding more experience to our lineup and more depth to our team.
“He’s a five-10 player whose skating is average and who comes from a great family. He’s got some skills, he’s going to work and he’s smart. He can add to our third and fourth lines.”
Herauf, meanwhile, has been periodically recalled from the Kings this fall and will stay with the Rebels through the remainder of the season as an eighth defender.
“With our schedule after Christmas, we have one time when we have four to five days off between games,” said Sutter. “Because of that I wasn’t comfortable with going with seven defencemen.
“He allows us to have eight defencemen here and we know from the past, at certain times of the season, that we’re going to need that. He’s only 16 but he’s a good player and he was our first-round pick (in the 2015 WHL bantam draft).”
Herauf can also fill in up front if necessary, Sutter noted.
The Rebels are in Lethbridge Friday to face the Hurricanes and entertain the ‘Canes Saturday at the Centrium.