Kaeden Korczak was the Rockets’ first round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. -Image: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

Prairie homecoming for Rockets rookie

The 16-year-old defenceman, who grew up in Yorkton, Sask., excited to be touring Eastern Division with Kelowna

Trips across the Canadian prairie in winter are nothing new to Kaeden Korczak.

But this month, for the first time, the 16-year-old rookie defenceman from Saskatchewan is seeing his home province through the windows of a Western Hockey League bus.

Korczak and the Kelowna Rockets are in the midst of a six-game tour of Eastern Division cities, the club’s final action prior to the Christmas break.

“It’s been super cool,” said Korczak, who was born and raised in Yorkton, Sask. “I’ve had a lot of family and friends come out and see me. Knowing people are there to support you is a good feeling.

“It’s been fun, nice to be back.”

Korczak, the Rockets’ first round pick, 11th overall, played all of his minor hockey in Yorkton, including the 2016-17 season with the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League’s Maulers.

Despite playing in arenas all across Saskatchewan during his minor hockey days, Korczak is seeing the inside of several WHL buildings for the first time, another perk of his first full season in major junior.

“I didn’t play in a lot of these rinks growing up, so it’s cool to be kind of living a dream and playing in them now,” he said. “I’d never played in the Brandt Centre (Regina) until this trip, so that was nice.”

Korczak got his feet wet as a 15-year-old last season, playing in four regular season games with the Rockets and five more in the playoffs.

This season, the young blueliner, who logs between 13 and 18 minutes of ice time per night, and has eight assists in 25 games.

With captain Cal Foote’s absence from the Kelowna lineup, Korczak will be helping carry even more of the load over the last four games of the trip.

Foote and Rockets’ teammates Dillon Dube and Kole Lind are in St. Catharines this week for Hockey Canada’s national junior selection camp.

Korczak and the Rockets will be in Moose Jaw tonight to take on the Warriors, the will visit Swift Current Wednesday in the fourth game of their prairie trip.

Kelowna closes out its prairie trip with a stop Friday in Prince Albert and Saturday in Saskatoon to play the Blades.

The Rockets’ next home action is Wednesday, Dec. 27 against the Kamloops Blazers.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@capnewsports

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

Kelowna developer makes an effort to help students left homeless after flood

U-Two developer is making an effort to help university students who were left in a lurch

Okanagan junior boys teams heading to basketball provincials.

The provincials invite 32 of the top junior teams in the province

Two accidents on Highway 97 near Vernon College

Emergency personnel have been called to two separate incidents on Highway 97 near Okanagan College

Alleged Okanagan sex offender arrested in P.E.I.

Offences occurred while Ivan Glen Winchester was living in Summerland between 2006 and 2010

Music Rundown: Who you should be watching play live this week

Fill your calendar this week with these great shows

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

No gas in Okanagan town as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

Shuswap facility adds 60 long-term care beds

Mount Ida Mews hosts grand opening of second phase in Salmon Arm

UPDATE: One dead after crash on Highway 97A near Armstrong

Police have confirmed that one person is dead following an accident on Highway 97A Friday

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Multi-vehicle collision slows traffic on Highway 1

Trans-Canada Highway reduced to single lane between Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Most Read