(Contributed file photo)

Rockets rookie camp concludes with praise from management

150 prospects demonstrated their skills over last week’s camp

Less than a week to go until Rockets pre-season starts and Kelowna prospects concluded rookie camp leaving a good impression on Kelowna’s top brass.

Close to 150 2003- and 2004-born players took their talents to Prospera Place last week in hopes in impressing scouts to earn a spot into the Rockets’ main camp. The Kelowna director of player personnel said this it was one of the most impressive rookie camps he’s seen.

“I’ve been here thirty years, and in all fairness, this might have been the most competitive camp that we’ve ever had,” said Lorne Frey.

“Although we had a big number, it was very exciting and the kids played hard making every game fun to watch. We’ve enjoyed every minute of it all.”

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While returning Rockets players have been casually trickling in over the weeks ahead of the team’s main camp. Meanwhile, the rookies and prospects have been battling at the tournament to show how far they’ve come since the end of last hockey season.

“We had an opportunity to see a lot of these players play last year and obviously things change over the months that you haven’t seen them. Some have grown, they’ve changed dramatically over the four or five months,” said Frey.

“They’ve grown physically, they’ve gotten quicker and better. This tournament has given us an opportunity to evaluate them a few months later with all of those changes and improvements.”

The advancing class of prospects will join the entire 2019 bantam draft class at the main camp which will finish Aug. 28.

Frey said that Kelowna’s 2019 class is surpassing expectations with later draft picks Rilen Kovacevic, Max Sanford and Daimon Gardner standing out amongst the eight drafted players.

The Rockets start the pre-season Aug. 30 at Prospera Place against the Victoria Royals.

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