Red Deer Rebels prospect Jeff DeWit has a goal in mind and this past weekend he skated a little closer to that goal.
DeWit was the number one pick by the Rebels in the WHL bantam draft and the local product knows what lies ahead of him.
“There’s some pressure from the hometown friends and that but I try not to think about it,” said Dewit about being a first round pick of the home club.
He watched the draft on line and was “super-excited’ when his name was called by the Rebels.
DeWit is no stranger to the organization having worked for Brent Sutter during the summit series this past winter and admits he’s glad to be a part of the group now that he’s older.
He joined more than 30 other players in a prospects camp this past weekend in Penhold and was just as pumped up about it as the draft.
The prospects camp is one thing but controlling your emotions once the real camp opens in September might prove to be a different story but DeWit says he’s got that covered.
“I think I’ve always done good with that, controlling my emotions and doing well under pressure so I’m just going to go out there and have some fun.”
He also has a little extra help in his corner in order to make the transition from Bantam hockey to working towards a spot on the Rebels roster when he turns 16.
“Hayden Fleury’s (Rebels defenceman) is living with me at my house right now and he’s showing me the ropes,” he said. “Telling me not to over think things too much and just play the game out there.”
Breaking down what has happened to him in the last couple of months, DeWit says the best part is being able to do what he loves to do, play hockey and meet some new people.
His expectations are simple when it comes to what he wants to do for this organization.
“I want to come in here and be an impact centreman and hopefully have a chance at making the lineup when I’m 16.”
As far as what is expected from him at this camp as the number one pick, assistant coach Jeff Truitt offered up this explanation.
“He’s like everyone else. The pressure is on everyone at a camp like this no matter if you are a number one pick or not,” said Truitt. “This is a learning experience.”
DeWit is honest about what he brings to the table, shooting the puck hard and a good skater for a big player which could create some open space for him and his linemates, as well as what he is lacking, he said.
“I’ve got to get meaner in the defensive zone,” he admits.
But before he takes any of those skills to the ice wearing a Rebels jersey DeWit has his sights set on a the very strong Midget AAA program under the guidance of Doug Quinn and his coaching staff.
“I’m excited about that and hopefully we can go to the Telus Cup one more year and I’d like to be a part of that experience.”