Chaz Reddekopp has emerged as a key component on the Victoria Royals blue line.

West Kelowna’s Reddekopp on rise with Royals

Victoria defenceman among WHL's top prospects, looks forward to playoff series with Kelowna

By calling his name in the opening round of the 2012 bantam draft, the Victoria Royals were projecting Chaz Reddekopp to become an important piece of the WHL team’s future.

In the three years since, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound defenceman from West Kelowna hasn’t disappointed.

Reddekopp, 18, has evolved into a top-four blueliner for the Royals, while also garnering his share of attention from pro scouts.

In the latest Central Scouting report released this week, Reddekopp is ranked 82nd among North American skaters—up from 199th at midterm—making him a potential third- to fourth-round pick in this summer’s NHL draft.

After a typically up-and-down rookie season with the Royals, Reddekopp has come into his own as a sophomore WHL defenceman.

“He had a bit of an issue with consistency at first, but now he just keeps getting better every day,” said Royals assistant coach Enio Sacilotto. “The progress he’s shown since November has been incredible. He’s a big-bodied player, a good kid who works hard.

“He’s still young and he’s still learning,” added Sacilotto, “but we expect him to be a force to be reckoned with as a junior player and one day as a pro as well.”

Paired this season with captain Joe Hicketts, Reddekopp is logging plenty of ice time and is most often pitted against the opposition’s top lines.

For the former Pursuit of Excellence rearguard, it’s been a positive growth experience.

“After I got that first year under my belt and got the chance to play more this season, I started gaining confidence and I feel like I’ve continued to improve,” Reddekopp said.

“When (Royals defenceman) Keegan Kanzig was traded to Calgary, he was a huge part of our defensive corps, so that really gave me a big opportunity. The coaches have shown trust in me and have really helped me.”

While Reddekopp first began attending Kelowna Rockets’ games shortly after moving to West Kelowna in Grade 4 he is, not surprisingly, no longer a supportive fan of the WHL team.

At the same time, he couldn’t be more excited with the prospects of his Royals taking on the favoured Rockets in the second round of the playoffs.

“When you look back at the season series, most of the games I think were pretty close and hard-fought,” he said. “We know how good they are, we’re expecting a lot from them, they played a very skilled game. We just can’t take any nights off against them and we know if we play every minutes, we give ourselves a good chance.

“I think it’ll be a great series, an entertaining series between two teams who don’t like each other.”

Reddekopp and the Royals face off against the Rockets in the Western Conference semifinal series Friday night at Prospera Place.


Just Posted

Lightning strikes West Kelowna condo

Fire crews were called to a building on Carrington Road Tuesday night

UPDATE: Smoke rising from Okanagan Mountain Park hills

Lightning may have sparked a fire in the hills across from Peachland

Lightning strikes across B.C. Interior

Residents are being asked to go inside until last rumble of thunder

Update: Lightning sparks blaze above Summerland

Firefighters are battling the small fire from the area that occurred Tuesday shortly after 7 p.m.

UPDATE: Crews battle wildfire near Big White Road

Joe Rich Fire Department responding alongside Big White Fire Department and provincial crews.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Lightning sparks wildfires in Vernon

Tuesday night storm causes wildfire in BX and residential fire in East Hill

Crash closes Highway 5A in both directions

A collision has shut down Highway 5A about 22 kilometres south of the junction with Highway 97C

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Pike Mountain fire continues to grow – quadruples in 24 hours

Fire threatens area consumed in 2017 by a 3,500 hectare blaze

Vernon Knights hire Van Horlick

New head coach of Junior B franchise in Armstrong

St. Albert knocks down Canadians

Finals of Valley of the Champions

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Most Read