The Castlegar Rebels have had a very busy and successful off season this spring. The Rebels held an Identification Camp alongside the Fort St. John Huskies (NWJHL) and the Strathmore Wheatland Kings (HJHL) in Edmonton, on May 10-12. Players from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and as far away as Houston, Texas made their way to Clareview Arena. The Rebels staff were very impressed with the level of talent in attendance, and are looking forward to seeing many of these players make their way to Castlegar and continue to earn their spot on the team at the Rebels Main Camp at the end of August.
As the spring comes to a close, the Rebels are excited to make their first player announcements ahead of the 2019-2020 season. Forward Caleb Goncalves, from Vanderhoof, British Columbia played 9 games with the Rebels last season. Goncalves spent time with the Rebels through Main Camp and played in 4 exhibition games prior to returning to the Kootenay Ice BCMML team in Trail. Goncalves was able to be a part of the Rebels practices and games often through the season, thanks in part to the Ice’s former Head Coach Kris Boyce, who believed strongly in the affiliation process, both with the Rebels and to allow his affiliate players the chance to play up with the MML team. Goncalves contributed 7 goals and 7 assists for 14 points in 36 games, along with 106 penalty minutes with the Ice, and scored 1 goal during his games with the Rebels. “I am very excited to get back into the room with the guys, they always welcomed me and treated me like I was family. I Hope I can bring back the same positivity that they gave me” said Goncalves about rejoining Rebels in the upcoming season. Goncalves went on to add “Coach Duffin always put me in a position he knew I would be able to be successful in, and helped make me a better player every time I was on the ice with them”. Head Coach and General Manager Carter Duffin spoke highly about Goncalves, “He is extremely fast. He has the ability to adjust his speed and take off, putting defenders in a tough position to contain him. He spent a lot of time with the Rebels last season and fits right in with our group. He brings the right attitude every day coming to the rink, and will look to continue with that trend this season”.
The Rebels are also excited to announce that Tyren Grimsdale, of Lyalta, Alberta has chosen to come to Castlegar next season. Grimsdale started last season with the Wheatland Chiefs Midget AA team in the SCAHL. At Christmas, Grimsdale joined the Okotoks Bow Mark Oilers Midget AAA team for the Macs Tournament in Calgary and finished the rest of the season with the Oilers. He started the season with 7 goals and 7 assists for 14 points in 18 games with Wheatland and then continued that pace contributing 5 goals and 3 assists for 8 points in 12 games with the Oilers. Grimsdale spoke about choosing the Rebels for the upcoming season “I was encouraged by the conversations with Coach Duffin and his willingness to help develop my game to the next level. I chose Castlegar because of Coach Duffin, the current players and the potential of the team and the facilities the Rebels play in“. “Grimsdale is an exceptional skater, can find open ice with his shifty movement and loves to shoot the puck” Duffin said, “He wants to contribute and create offense every time he hits the ice”. When asked about what the Rebels fans can expect from him, Grimsdale said “the fans will see me as a dynamic player that has speed and likes to create scoring opportunities”, he also went on to add “I look forward to volunteering and becoming a part of the community”.
The Rebels are also looking forward to seeing their third commitment contribute to the Rebels offensive attack after he finished second in scoring in the CCSHL Midget Varsity League. Jaedon Little, of Wymark, Saskatchewan, was a force last season for Prairie Hockey Academy in Caronport, Saskatchewan. Little scored 27 goals and set up 24 more for 51 points in 24 games. “Little has the ability to find ways to get the puck into the net. He is able to make smooth plays, create separation and finish. Little continued to excel throughout the year, helping lead PHA to the Midget Varsity Championships, he knows how to win, and will bring the right type of personal character to the Rebels program and community”. When Little was asked about his decision to head to Castlegar, Little said “Coach Duffin is all in for helping advance players in their hockey career. I also feel like it is the best place for me to get to the next level in my playing career”. Little is excited to get to work in a Rebels jersey this season, for a preview about what to expect, Little said “fans can expect to see a hard working two-way player who likes to have the puck, make plays, and takes pride in his defensive play”.
The Rebels are looking forward to continue their recruiting through the summer, and fans will be able to get their first glimpse of Goncalves, Grimsdale, Little, as well as the rest of the Rebels returning players and recruits, at the Rebels Main Camp at the end of August. The Rebels staff are excited about the direction that the Rebels roster is heading. Duffin spoke about the continued recruiting season “we are very proud to announce these three players today, but it doesn’t just end here. These players will continue to push and grow through the summer to be ready for the fall. Our scouting staff has put in many hours and kilometers through the last season and this spring to ensure we have a strong group of recruits coming to our main camp that will also be battling for the opportunity to dawn a Rebels jersey, as there are still many spots left to be earned!”.