The Red Deer Rebels are hosting this year’s Memorial Cup.
The tournament features the champions from each CHL league facing off, but also automatically includes the host team as well. Because of this factor, we often see host teams load up on talent for that year.
One player that the Rebels targeted was the Winnipeg Jets fourth round selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Michael Spacek.
Spacek was highly a highly thought-of prospect entering the 2015 draft, being ranked as the 5th highest skater in Europe by CSS, and 36th overall by Corey Pronman. He was also ranked highly by the Nation Network prospect rankings -a combined effort between Jets Nation, Canucks Army, and NHL Numbers- going 25th overall.
For some reason, perhaps his 5’11 stature, Spacek fell in the draft despite scoring immensely well for his age in the Czech men’s pro-league. Spacek was drafted by the Jets at 108th overall.
At the draft, Jets General Manger Kevin Cheveldayoff mentioned that the organization was hoping Spacek would play in North America for the next season.
The Rebels then drafted Micheal Spacek 45th overall in the CHL Import Draft. There was some risk to this, as Spacek was drafted the previous year by the Medicine Hat Tigers but did not commit and stayed in Europe.
Spacek was over in North America playing for the Czech’s national under 20 team, which allowed for the Rebels to get in touch with Spacek.
Troy Gillard reported has since reported that Spacek will be playing for the Rebels next season:
— Troy Gillard (@Troy_Gillard) August 5, 2015
The Rebels are thought to have a strong defensive core, with players like Hayden Fleury and Jets prospect Nelson Nogier in their top four, but need immense help in their scoring forwards.
Spacek should be moving straight into a primary role and be looked upon to generate offense for a team that will be making a run for the Memorial Cup.