Just more than a week from the start of the 2021-22 season, the Kelowna Rockets are making waves with a big one-for-one trade.
Centre Trevor Wong is heading to the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for forward Colton Dach.
Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton made the announcement on Tuesday, Sept. 28, saying he was concerned about the team’s size down the middle — Wong standing around 5’9” and 155 pounds.
“With Wong, Flamand and Cristall all being somewhat undersized compared to the teams that we’ll be playing in the BC Division, I just felt there was an opportunity to get a bigger guy in Dach who’s 6’3,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton said Dach is a mature player, having recently competed in an NHL training camp with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he was selected in the second round (62nd overall) in the 2021 entry draft.
“We’re going to expect him to come in here and have a leadership role with our group in the near future,” said Hamilton.
With his imposing stature — 6’3” and 205 pounds — Dach should bring that size Hamilton is looking for, as well as a scoring touch. The 18-year-old was a point-per-game player in the Blades’ 2020-21 season, putting up 11 goals and 9 assists in 20 games. He led the Blades in goals and power-play goals.
Colton is the younger brother of Kirby Dach, also selected by the Chicago Blackhawks as their third overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft.
Trevor Wong was drafted 18th overall by the Rockets in the 2018 WHL draft. He appeared in 79 games for the Rockets, notching 31 points (13G, 18A) and 40 penalty minutes.
“When you make a deal of this size, battleship for battleship, we’re certainly giving up a young player that we’ve thought an awful lot of,” said Hamilton.
“Trevor was our first-round pick a few years ago and a real special person, but I think with where our team is, I thought that size was going to be an issue when we play big physical teams. I wanted to get something done earlier rather than later.”