Medicine Hat, AB – When driving through Alberta’s Cowboy Trail you are likely to pass through Cremona, the hometown of Medicine Hat Tigers’ prospect Rhett Parsons.
“It is a small farming community with a population of around 500 people where everyone knows each other,” said Parsons of his hometown.
Despite growing up in a farming community, Parsons admits that his family does not have a lot to do with farming. They live on an acreage near his father’s family farm and he is often busy on the ice and working out as he aspires to make the jump to the Western Hockey League (WHL) next season.
The 2003 born defenceman was drafted in the fifth round, 99th overall by the Tabbies in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.
“Rhett is a big strong right-shot defenceman with some bite to his game,” said Bobby Fox, Tigers Director of Player Personnel. “He has a presence on the ice due to his physical ability and compete level. He is well-rounded, poised with the puck and makes smart transition passes. His versatility makes him effective in multiple game situations both defensively and offensively.”
During his bantam draft year, Parsons played for the Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA team in the Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) U15. He collected eight assists in 36 regular season games and added four assists in 13 games helping his team win the Championship. He also played for Team Central who won the Alberta Cup, contributing two assists in five games.
After being drafted by the Orange and Black, Parsons joined the Edge School for the past two seasons. During the 2018-19 season, he suited up for the Edge School Elite 15s and picked up 28 points (8G, 20A) in 35 games played while helping his team finish seventh place overall with an 18-13-5 record. This past season, Parsons joined the Midget Prep team and finished with 27 points (6G, 21A) in 32 games played. His team finished sixth overall with a 20-12-0-4 record.
“It’s been good,” said Parsons of his time at the Edge School. “It’s nice that everything is in one spot like the ice, the workout facility and school.”
Away from the rink, Parsons enjoys hanging out with his friends and golfing which is good because his father, Ross, is the superintendent at one of the local golf courses. Ross is also an alumnus of the Regina Pats who he played 207 games for in the 90s and he was drafted in the 11th round, 278 overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. Having a father who played high level hockey has been an advantage for Parsons.
“He coached me when I was little but now he has just been a good mentor for me,” said Parsons.
Parsons has suited up for a total of four preseason games with the Tabbies but has yet to make his WHL debut. During the 2019-20 season, he was called up a few times to join the team in order to gain an understanding of the culture and work ethic expected.
“It was a great experience, just to see how hard the guys worked in practice and in the gym, and to get an opportunity to do that with them was great,” said Parsons.
The Tigers pride themselves on giving back to the community and Parsons was able to see and experience that first hand. During late October, he was able to tag along with the team during the annual Skate with the Tigers in Ralston.
“It was great to give back to the community of Ralston, skating with all of them and seeing how excited they were was something special to see,” said Parsons.
To prepare himself in hopes of making the transition to the WHL next season, Parsons is currently working out six times a week and skating three times a week.
“I’m doing a lot of leg and core work to improve my foot speed on the ice and my stability. I’ve also been shooting a lot of pucks,” said Parsons.
The Tigers are currently preparing for the 2020 CHL Import Draft which is scheduled to take place Tuesday, June 30th online.