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Rockets fly at Young Stars

The Kelowna Rockets were represented by a pair of forwards at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, which wrapped up on Monday: Vancouver Canucks prospect Kole Lind, and Calgary Flames prospect Dillon Dube.

For Lind, a second-round draft pick by the Canucks this past June, it was his first time at the annual tournament. 

He finished with a goal and two assists in three games, which were played in fewer than 72 hours.

"We got treated excellent, it was awesome that way. Playing-wise, I thought I played pretty well. A little bit inconsistent, but I think that’s just something with it being the beginning of the year," Lind said. 

"I feel pretty good all around. This is a pretty hard tournament; not much rest and lots of games in not very many days."

The 18-year-old said some of the on-ice experience he gained from the tournament was having to make quicker plays when there's less time to execute.

"I think as you go up levels, the game just gets quicker and quicker, and you have to make those decisions another split-second faster. That’s something that I have to try and take back to junior this year and push the pace at my level."

Before returning to the Rockets for a third season, Lind is hopeful to attend at least part of the Canucks training camp this month.

"I’m just going to try and take advantage of my time here and make a good first impression all around," he said.

Lind may be in a similar situation to where his teammate Dube was a season ago.

Dube, who is 19-years old and was a second-round draft pick in 2016 to the Flames, took part in his second Young Stars tournament this past weekend, having played in the tournament a year ago as well.

He said he felt like he took a step up from his performance a year ago.

"I think there was a lot more confidence there this year. I kind of knew what to expect coming in to the camp. It’s a tryout so you have to give it everything you’ve got every game," Dube said. "I feel like last year I did well and this year I stepped up a little bit."

Dube spent some time in the Flames training camp following the Young Stars tournament a year ago, before returning to Kelowna. 

He said that even with a short summer of training, as the Rockets last playoff game was on Apr. 30 last season, that this was a year to prepare himself for hopefully an extended stay at Flames camp, and a veteran role on his WHL club.

"I trained in Calgary all summer, and that’s obviously my goal to be there as long as I can," Dube said. "It was a hard summer, obviously the pros had a lot longer summer than me so I need to make up for lost time."

As of Tuesday, training camps will have begun for both the Flames and the Canucks.

The Rockets wrapped up their WHL preseason schedule on Saturday night. Their regular season begins on Sept. 22.

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