The opportunity came knocking and Clayton Beddoes ’94 couldn’t turn it down.
When the Red Deer Rebels began their search for a new assistant coach Beddoes jumped at the opportunity to work closer to family.
The opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time when the Rebels hired Walser and began their search for an assistant coach. “To be able to be in an organization in my hometown is awesome,” he said. “It’s not very often you get that kind of opportunity in hockey.”
This isn’t Beddoes first time with the Rebels organization. During the 2014-15 season, he served as the teams’ skills coach but also has a long history of coaching and playing at essentially every level possible in the game.
During his playing days, he began playing hockey in Bentley but eventually took his talents to Red Deer to suit up for the Optimist Chiefs. He also hit the ice for the Red Deer Rustlers who were a part of the AJHL in 1988-89.After playing a season for the Weyburn Red Wings in the SJHL he joined Lake Superior State University for four seasons in the NCAA from 1990-94. He also competed internationally winning the Spengler Cup with Team Canada in 1992-93.
He followed that by playing two seasons in the NHL for the Boston Bruins from 1995-97. Afterward, he joined the Detroit Vipers in the IHL but played overseas in Germany and Italy before hanging up his skates in 2002.
Most of his coaching career has also continued outside of North America. He coached club teams in Germany and Italy and was with the men’s national teams in both countries. Most recently, he was an assistant coach with the Kunlun Red Star of the KHL and was with the Chinese national program in 2021-22.
“I think the biggest thing for a coach is his communication skills. That’s how he gets the players to respond and being yourself as a coach, making sure you’re not trying to be something you’re not,” he said. “The other part of it is always trying to learn. You’ll never learn everything there is to know about the game. First of all, it’s always changing but secondly, it’s just an infinite amount of situations and different scenarios happen every game.”
He explained his biggest lesson as a coach he’s learned is to trust his instincts. He’s also thankful for the great coaches he had during his playing career that inspired him to begin coaching.
He joins a Rebels squad that’s been quite successful with two deep playoff runs the last few years under former head coach Steve Konowalchuk.
“A lot of things can happen in a season so I want to make sure that I’m grounded in my expectations. However, there is potential there and that’s one thing as a coach going into the season to understand what the prerogatives are,” he said. “They’re in a position to try and win and maybe go all in at some point if everything’s going well. To me, it’s nice to develop players but at the end of the day when you have a chance to win you can’t help but be excited.”