Quick Shift: A look at the Castlegar Rebels


Welcome to Quick Shift, which provides a preview of each of the 20 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League teams, with insight from their respective general manager/head coach. Next up is the Castlegar Rebels in the Neil Murdoch division. The Rebels finished last in their division with a 11-28-1-4 record. Rebels Head Coach Nick Headrick answers questions about his roster.

Did you have a good off-season of recruiting?
Yes. Jesse Dorans did a really good job finding younger players that can hopefully help us score goals. I think that was part of the problem last year was scoring. Defensively and goaltending-wise, we were pretty solid. This year getting the Junior A designation definitely helped us when it came to the recruiting process compared to previous years.

Which new players have really impressed?
We have the twins, Josh and Keegan Gamble who are loaded with skill and can make plays. They have strong hockey IQs and I think they are pretty excited to make plays and help us win some hockey games. 

Note: Josh had 21 points in 34 games for Notre Dame Hounds U18AAA, while Keegan had 17 points in 34 CSSHL games for Notre Dame Hounds U17 Prep. 

Antonio Ferrise has got a knack for the net and is hard in the corners, and on the rush. He can really fly and shoot the puck. We’re looking for him to hopefully play with the Gamble brothers in the future and score some goals.

What do you like about the group of players returning who will play a big part on your team?
I think we were pretty fortunate with the amount of guys that want to give it another shot. We had a lot of guys who played simple with a physical presence. They like to defend and be mean to play against. It’s always good to have those guys on your roster.

The most important player back is our goaltender Ethan Lawczynski. He has been in the league for a long time. He has gotten stronger and looks fast, confident.

Up front our two biggest guys are Evan Calder (28 points in 43 games last season) and Daytn Kulynych (led Rebels with 32 points in 44 games). Getting them back was definitely a huge boost. We’re hoping to see him (Kulynych) try to put up some points and help us win hockey games. When he is playing his best, he is playing a lot of minutes and gets the puck down low at the goal line. Calder will help with our power-play by having him in front of the net. He is good down low on the goal line with the puck. We’re looking to him for some power play goals.

What were some key areas of success achieved last season that the organization wants to build on?
The amount of guys that wanted to come back and take another shot. After the year we had, it’s easy for a lot of guys to just move on and go to work, go to school. We have 12, maybe 13 players return to build a program that guys want to play for.