The 2019 Canada Winter Games open this Friday in Red Deer, Alberta. Five of the Kelowna Rockets’ top WHL prospects will join an accomplished list of NHLers who have competed in these games, including Bob Gainey, Steven Stamkos, Paul Kariya, Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby.
Trevor Wong, Elias Carmichael and Steel Quiring will compete for Team BC’s U16 male team, while Hayden Wilm and Justin Dueck suit up for Team Saskatchewan.
All five players were selected by the Rockets at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft. Wong and Quiring have both made their WHL debuts with the Rockets this season.
Wong was selected in the first round, 18th overall, after putting up 64 goals and 77 assists for 141 points in just 30 games with St. George’s School Bantam Varsity (CSSBVHL). He also added five goals and 18 assists for 23 points in five post-season games.
The 5-foot-8, 135-pound centre has 33 points (10G, 23A) and 23 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Greater Vancouver Canadians (BCMML) this season.
Wong made his WHL debut on Oct. 27 against the Prince George Cougars. He has one goal in four games with the Rockets as a 15-year-old.
Carmichael, a 6-foot-1, 181-pound defenceman, was a second-round pick of the Rockets. Last season, he had 19 points (2G, 17A) and 38 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Burnaby Winter Club Bantam Prep (CSSBHL). This season, he has 14 points (3G, 11A) and 14 penalty minutes in 26 games with Burnaby Winter Club Prep (CSSHL).
Quiring was taken in the fifth round by the Rockets. Last season, he had 40 points (17G, 23A) in 30 games with the Okanagan Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team (CSSBHL). This season, the 6-foot-1, 181-pound forward has continued his offensive production, putting up 39 points (15G, 24A) and 20 penalty minutes in 31 games with the Okanagan Rockets (BCMML). The Vernon product has also played two games with the WHL’s Rockets this season.
Wilm, a product of Central Butte, Sask., was selected in the fifth round, 106th overall. The Rockets drafted him after a 54-point (23G, 31A) campaign in 30 games with the Swift Current Broncos Bantam AA (SBAAHL) last season. He also had 47 penalty minutes. This season, the forward has produced 14 points (4G, 10A) as well as eight penalty minutes in 34 games with the Saskatoon Blazers (SMHL).
Dueck, a goaltender, had a 9-5 record with a 3.02 goals-against average and one shutout with Swift Current Broncos Bantam AA last season. He was taken in the 10th round, 204th overall at the bantam draft. This season, the six-foot, 185-pound netminder has a record of 18-0-0, a 1.50 goals-against average and four shutouts with Swift Current Hurricanes Midget AA (SSMHL).
Team BC will begin their quest for gold on Saturday against Manitoba. The game will be televised on TSN2 at 6:30 p.m. PT. Saskatchewan also opens their schedule the same day against Alberta.
B.C. and Saskatchewan face each other on Sunday.
All games will be streamed online at canadagames.live. The gold-medal game will be broadcast on TSN2 on Friday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. PT.