Saturday, June 29, 2013

Big weekend for Bowey/Bell/Wheaton

Madison Bowey will be a high pick in Sunday's NHL draft.
But how high?
The Kelowna Rockets d-man is projected to be a late first round selection or may fall into the early stages of the second round. TSN's Bob McKenzie has Bowey projected to go 36th overall, which leaves him six spots shy of first round status. Only five Kelowna Rockets have been taken in the opening round of the draft. Kyle McLaren (Boston - 1995), Scott Hannan (San Jose - 1997), Scott Parker (Colorado -  1998), Luke Schenn (Toronto - 2008), Tyler Myers (Buffalo - 2008) all share that honour.
If Bowey is indeed taken 36th overall and the order of selection remains the same as it does today, the 18 year-old Winnipeg resident will be a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Bowey will join Rockets alumnus Josh Gorges and Travis Moen as members of Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. If Bowey slips into the second round, he will join a solid group of former alumni like Shea Weber (2nd round - Nashville), Colton Sissons ( 2nd round - Nashville), Brett Bulmer (2nd round Minnesota), Blake Comeau (2nd round Islanders), Keil McLeod (2nd round Columbus), Nolan Yonkman (2nd round Washington) and Tuomas Gronman (2nd round Quebec Nordiques).
While Bowey will undoubtedly be taken in the first 40 picks, the real question is when will teammates Mitch Wheaton and Myles Bell hear their names called at the podium?
Wheaton's size alone has many scouts wanting to get their hands on the Sherwood Park, Alberta product. Is the third round realistic for a rookie defenceman who had a portion of his season shortened because of shoulder problems? Tyson Barrie (Colorado - 2009) was the last Rockets player taken in the third round and he is earning an NHL paycheck.
The most intriguing player to watch will be Myles Bell. Undrafted at 18, Bell led the Rockets in scoring despite being moving from defense to forward. The 19 year-old made the transition look easy and scouts can't overlook his pro-like shot and 38 goal output.
If all three are drafted on Sunday, it will mark the first time since 2009 that three players from the Rockets organization have been taken in the NHL draft. That year Tyson Barrie (Colorado), Evan Bloodoff (Phoenix) and Mitch Callahan (Detroit) had the priviledge of being selected by one of the 30 NHL teams.
Nothing is guaranteed on Sunday. What is safe to say is the draft will be must viewing if you are a Kelowna Rockets fan.

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