Kelowna Rockets swap Swetlikoff for Graham

Rockets trade with Silvertips

The Kelowna Rockets have traded a veteran to the Everett Silvertips, receiving in return a youngster who’s a product of Kelowna Minor Hockey.

Rockets President and General Manager Bruce Hamilton announced the team has acquired Max Graham in exchange for 20-year old Alex Swetlikoff and a sixth-round pick in the 2023 WHL Draft.

The Rockets acquired Swetlikoff's WHL rights from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in December 2018. He appeared in 111 games for Kelowna over the last three seasons, collecting 54 points (25G, 29A), 70 penalty minutes and a -19 plus-minus rating.

"In Alex, we lose a very skilled player and leader on our team. I have known Alex since his childhood. He is a class act and I personally along with the entire Rockets organization wish him all the very best," said Hamilton.

Graham was signed by Everett after going undrafted in the 2019 WHL Draft.

He appeared in 18 games as a 16-year-old rookie for the Silvertips this past season, posting two assists, six penalty minutes and a +1 plus-minus rating.

The 6'3", 180-pound forward spent the 2019-20 season with the U16 AAA Okanagan Rockets (BC U16), where he led the league in scoring with 61 points (33G, 28A) over 31 games. He was named to the 2019-20 BC U16 AAA All-Star team alongside current Rockets forward Scott Cousins and goaltender Nicholas Christiano.

"Our organization knows a lot about Max," said Hamilton.

"Lorne Frey and Terry McFaul were both high on him, Lorne had talked about listing him a couple of years ago and we missed our chance. He's a guy that Everett listed out of Kelowna Minor Hockey and has turned into a real player, he speaks volumes for the players that don't get drafted. There are still opportunities out there for them.

"We're really excited to have him join our team, we know he'll have an impact certainly in the future, if not now. We paid dearly for him, giving up a real high-end player in Alex, but we think that he gives us great depth in the '04 age bracket.”

Moving Swetlikoff leaves Kelowna with four 20-years olds on the roster — goaltender Cole Schwebius, forward Mark Liwiski and defencemen Jake Lee and Tyson Feist.

The Rockets are slated to open their regular season schedule Oct. 2 against Everett. Season tickets are now available to the general public.

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