By Colton Davies
The Blazers are about to get a key player back from injury as they continue to fight for a Western Conference playoff spot.
20 year-old Ryan Rehill has missed the past seven games with a lower-body injury. He’ll be back for the Blazers tomorrow night when the team hits the road to take on the Vancouver Giants.
Rehill says he’s looking forward to being back in the lineup.
“It’s exciting, you never want to miss any time for illnesses or injuries. Especially in my last year, I definitely want to make the most of it. I’m more than ready to be back playing with the guys”, Rehill said.
The team went 2-5-0 in Rehill’s absence over the past seven games. Head coach Don Hay talked about the importance of having Rehill back.
“It’s a great addition… He plays the most minutes, he plays hard minutes, he plays in every situation – 5-on-5, power play, penalty kill… Other guys had an opportunity to pick up the slack, I thought everybody did a good job but it’s always nice to get Ryan, an experienced, veteran guy back on the back end”, Hay said.
Rehill leads all Blazers defensemen with six goals and 26 points on the season. The 6’3”, 218 lb defender also leads the club with 69 penalty minutes. He’s the oldest player on a Blazers blue line that features two 16 year-olds and two 17 seventeen year-olds out of the seven defensemen on the active roster.
Hay praised how the Edmonton, Alberta native has adapted and grown in his leadership role with the team.
“[Rehill] is probably the most improved player on our team and I’d say he’s probably one of the most improved players in the conference”, Hay said.
The return of Rehill comes at a crucial time, as Kamloops currently sits eighth in the Western Conference, three points up on the Tri-City Americans for the final playoff spot with 18 games remaining.