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WHL  

Rockets add D at deadline

The Kelowna Rockets added another veteran defenceman as the Western Hockey League trade deadline came and went.

The Rockets claimed 20-year-old defenceman Matt Barberis off waivers from the Vancouver Giants.

In a corresponding move, the Rockets released 20-year-old forward Lane Zablocki.

Zablocki, acquired in a deal with Victoria earlier in the season, had four goals and eight assists in 22 games with the Rockets.

The addition of Barberis gives the Rockets three overage defencemen.

"It wasn't an easy decision to release Lane," said GM, Bruce Hamilton.

"The way our hockey club is today, we had the chance to pick up a really skilled overage defenceman that will help us give our young guys more and more ice time. I think it's important that Korczak, Steffler, Thomson and Augustine get to play more and with one of the three overage defencemen all the times.

"They'll get a chance to improve their game and play in situations that they don't get to all the time. Barberis is a skilled, great skating player. He has had a tough year injury-wise, but he's cleared to play, and we're excited to get him into our lineup."

Barberis is not expected to play this weekend when the Rockets travel to Prince George.

In 168 games with the Giants, Barberis has 21 goals and 64 assists.



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