With the B.C. Divison receiving approval to play this week, the Kelowna Rockets roster has been set for the season.
The WHL B.C. Division schedule will commence March 26. Clubs will play a 24-game schedule, which will be announced soon.
Based on the approved WHL protocols, games will be played at Sandman Centre in Kamloops and Prospera Place in Kelowna.
No spectators will be permitted inside arenas. WHL fans can take in all the action on CHL TV. Each club’s home-opening games are to be broadcast free of charge. Visit WHL.ca or watch.CHL.ca for complete details.
The Rockets will have information available for season ticket holders in the coming days.
As for the roster itself, the Rockets are going with nine rookies.
As for their leaders, forward Dillon Hamaliuk and defenceman Kaedan Korczak are to return to the team after spending time in the American Hockey League with their NHL team’s affiliate clubs.
The Rockets first-round pick in 2020, Andrew Cristall, will join the team’s cohort as an affiliate player.
Kelowna remains hopeful that last year’s top rookie, Pavel Novak, will be issued a visa and able to return to Kelowna for the season from his native Czech Republic.
Rockets defenceman Micahel Krutil, who was selected by Chicago in the 2020 NHL Draft, will not be coming to Kelowna. Krutil has inked a standard AHL player contract with the Rockford IceHogs and will remain with them for the rest of the year.
The club’s roster consists of the following 26 players (* – denotes rookie; AP-affiliate player):
FORWARDS: Trevor Wong, Mark Liwiski, Turner McMillen*, Novak, Steel Quiring*, Rilen Kovacevic*, Scott Cousins*, Alex Swetlikoff, David Kope, Ethan Ernst, Nolan Flamand*, Hamaliuk, Jake Poole, Dylan Wightman* and Andrew Cristall (AP).
DEFENCEMEN: Noah Dorey*, Sean Comrie, William Irvine*, John Babcock*, Korczak, Elias Carmichael, Jake Lee, Tyson Feist and Jackson DeSouza*
GOALTENDERS: Roman Basran and Cole Schwebius.