American players Jasser and Bourne enjoy training camp experience with Rebels – Red Deer Advocate
It’s a long way from home, but the two American-born players, Jonah Jasser and Quentin Bourne, made the most of their time attending Red Deer Rebels training camp.
As the last day of camp wrapped up on Tuesday, the team prepared to host the black-and-white intra-squad game at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
Jasser, who has yet to sign with the Rebels after being selected 37th overall in the 2021 WHL USA Priority Draft, said it took him a while to acclimate to competing against players WHL-level, but overall he felt good on the ice.
“The last few days I’ve gotten used to being more comfortable there,” he said. “It was very exciting to be drafted by an organization like Red Deer with all the history and status behind the organization.”
The 16-year-old forward came to Red Deer earlier this spring to see the team and said playing for the Rebels was a path he would consider taking.
After living the first 12 years of his life in Anchorage, Alaska, Jasser and his family moved to Texas. After playing last season with the Dallas Stars Elite 16U AAA where he scored 13 goals and 15 assists in 53 games, he will play for the Cleveland Barons 16U AAA next season.
Being on the ice with some of the Rebels veterans and newcomers, he said, has been very competitive.
“You’re constantly in your head thinking who I’m fighting against for a place in the team, so it’s super hard to be out there and keep going every day,” he said.
Prior to being drafted into the WHL, Jasser said he knew the league through fellow Texas hockey player and Portland Winterhawks forward Cross Hanas, who he says was a model for him.
“I skated with him the last few years and he was a really good player for the Winterhawks,” he said.
Standing six feet tall and weighing 187 pounds, his goal is to one day play professional hockey, but if not, he hopes to build a career.
“I feel like Red Deer helps players not only in the hockey world, but also in life,” he added.
Quentin Bourne was the Rebels’ eighth pick in last year’s U.S. WHL Priority Draft and signed a standard player deal with the club last April. The 16-year-old California native had an impressive camp but admitted he was a little tired after skating twice a day for the duration of camp.
“But it’s not that bad, it’s still fun to skate with these professionals,” he said. “It’s really competitive, high paced, but it’s an environment I like to be in, it’s an environment that pushes you, that’s why I like being here.”
Bourne played 76 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 15U where he had 10 goals and 33 points. Throughout camp, he explained that the pace of play was faster than what he was used to.
“Those last two skates, I feel like my adjustments slowed down a bit for me, but those first two skates, yeah, it was really fast,” explained Bourne.
Red Deer, he added, has been a great community over the past week. It’s a lot smaller than where he’s from LA, but he liked how quiet it was.
He got involved in hockey after watching Bakersfield Condors games in the American Hockey League and after watching he was eager to get started. The minor hockey system in California has grown over the years and he says it has produced a lot of good players.
He is the first in his family to play the game and at just five-foot-eight and weighing 150 pounds, he relies on his smooth skating and puck control on the ice.
“I just liked how fast it was. It was fun to watch, it’s not like any other sport you go to watch like baseball. Maybe it’s fun to play , but to watch it, it’s not as fun,” Bourne said.