Kelowna Rockets trade Leif Mattson in one of two deals Thursday

Rockets turn over new Leif

The Kelowna Rockets roster shakeup continues.

President and GM Bruce Hamilton made a pair of moves Thursday involving overage players.

In one move, the Rockets sent three draft picks to the Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for 20-year-old forward Matthew Wedman.

In 19 games with the T-Birds this season, Wedman has amassed six goals, 11 assists and 41 penalty minutes.

Over five seasons, all with Seattle, Wedman collected 75 goals and 100 assists in 275 games.

The Rockets gave up a first round bantam pick in 2023, a second round selection in 2022 and fifth rounder in 2020.

To make room for Wedman, the Rockets sent 20-year-old forward Leif Mattson to the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for a 2020 third round bantam selection.

"We feel that we've really strengthened our hockey club with Matthew Wedman and Jadon Joseph down the middle," said Hamilton.

"We've been pursuing Wedman for six weeks, it's been a long grind of negotiations and we knew it was going to cost picks. He's going to elevate our team in leadership and scoring. He's the captain of the Thunderbirds, he brings leadership and a big physical presence.

"He scored 40 goals last season, we're looking for him to add some offence to our team and help him pursue his career to become a pro player."

This is the second significant trade between the Rockets and T-Birds.

At the bantam draft, the Rockets acquired defenceman Jake Lee, forward Dillon Hamaliuk and goaltender Cole Schwebius in a deal for forward Connor Bruggen-Cate and three draft picks.

"Any time you make a move with overages, unfortunately, someone is moving. Leif has been a great player for us, he competed hard and is a solid person.

We've made a move that I think will be good for him, he'll fit in well in Spokane. I think if there's a place to go, this is a great place, he's going to slot right into their top-six. We want to thank Leif for everything he has done for the Rockets and wish him well in the future."

Wedman is expected to join the Rockets when they begin their six-game Eastern Division road trip tonight in Prince Albert.

More WHL articles