Rockets looking for billets

The Kelowna Rockets are still on the hunt for billet families for the upcoming hockey season!

“Being a billet family for the Kelowna Rockets is a great experience and it’s rewarding,” said Rockets’ billet coordinator Kris Mallette.

“You play a big role in the lives of these young men, and in turn play a big role for the Rockets organization.”

Billeting is a fun and gratifying experience that helps shape the futures of the young athletes.

If you live in the Kelowna Secondary School catchment area (Glenmore and North Glenmore, South East Kelowna, Crawford Estates or Casorso Road), or in the Black Mountain School catchment area and are interested in opening your home to a Rockets player, you can become a Rockets billet family.

For an information package drop by the Kelowna Rockets office or contact billet coordinator Kris Mallette at [email protected] or call 250-979-0860.


Rockets unveil schedule

The Kelowna Rockets will have more home games front-loaded on their 2017-18 Western Hockey League schedule than in past years.

The Rockets, who played six of their first eight games away from home a season ago, get eight of their first 14 at Prospera Place through the end of October.

The Rockets will open at home against the Kamloops Blazers Friday, Sept. 22, and close out the regular season at home to the Vancouver Giants Saturday, March 17.

The home schedule includes 12 Saturday night games, 10 each on Wednesday and Friday, three on Tuesday and the traditional BC Day Monday matinee.

The club will get a heavy dose of the Portland Winterhawks in mid October. The rivals square off four times in a span of just eight days.

The Rockets make their biennial eastern swing prior to Christmas again this year. Their six game in nine day trip begins Dec. 8 in Regina and ends Dec. 16 in Saskatoon.

February provides the most compact schedule, with 14 games over 28 days, including stretches where they play seven games in 11 days, and five games in nine days.

The Rockets are coming off a 45 win, 95 point season after four consecutive campaigns of 100 of more points.

Rockets grab Czech pair

The Kelowna Rockets were busy Wednesday, nabbing a pair of Czech teammates in the CHL import draft.

The Rockets selected 17-year-old defenceman Libor Zabransky and 18-year-old forward Marek Skvrne.

Zabransky, 6'1", 181 pounds, was taken with the 51st selection. In 34 games with HC Kometa Brno U20, Zabransky scored nine goals and added 26 assists.

He had another three goals and seven assists in 12 playoff games.

"I'm honoured to be drafted by the Kelowna Rockets, It's one of the best organizations in the CHL, and I'll do everything I can to be beneficial for the team," said Zabransky.

Kelowna grabbed Skvrne with their second round pick, 111th overall. A teammate of Zabransky, the 6' 172 pound right winger scored eight times and added 13 assists in 37 games.

Both will be in Kelowna when the Rockets open up training camp in August.

The Rockets were able to select both with current imports Tomas Soustal and Calvin Thurkauf unlikely to return for their overage seasons.

Foote in the door in Tampa

Cal Foote is the latest Kelowna Rockets defenceman drafted in the first round of the NHL draft.

Foote joins Lucas Johansen (28th overall in 2016),  Josh Morrissey (13th overall in 2013), Luke Schenn (5th overall in 2008), Tyler Myers (12th overall in 2008) and Scott Hannan (23rd overall in 1997) as defencemen selected in the first round of the NHL draft.

Duncan Keith, Shea Weber, Madison Bowey and Damon Severson were all taken in round two.

Foote was the 14th player taken in the 2017 draft Friday night in Chicago. He was taken by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In his second season with the Rockets, Foote put up six goals and 51 assists in 71 games.

His 51 assists ranked sixth among defencemen in the Western Hockey League, while his 25 power play helpers were fourth in the league among defencemen.

"Today was very exciting but at the same time I was very nervous getting to the rink. The experience was amazing. It was so professional and very fun to be a part of," said Foote.

"It means a ton to me, I've worked my entire life for this moment but I'm excited to get back to work in August with the Rockets."

Forward Kole Lind was a possible late first round selection, however, his name was not called during the first round Friday night.

He is expected to go somewhere in the second round Saturday morning.

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