Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bowey/Goulbourne/Wheaton and Bell take step on NHL stage

For the fourth time in the Kelowna/Tacoma Rockets 22 year history, the Washington Capitals have selected a player from the WHL franchise.
Madison Bowey was taken in the second round, 53rd overall, by the Capitals on Sunday. The Capitals picked up Rockets alumnus Mark Olafson in 2003, Nolan Yonkman in 1999 and John Varga in 1992. 
It was a given Bowey would be selected in the first two rounds but the same couldn't be said for teammate Tyrell Goulbourne.
The Philadelphia Flyers picked the Edmonton resident in the third round. While some hockey people will be surprised at the pick, remember  Goulbourne is not a one trick pony. Sure he has had success fighting, with the Joe Mahon tilt in February becoming a huge hit on YouTube. The 18 year-old was also voted as the Western Conference's toughest player in the Tri City Herald Best of the West poll this past season. But aside from that, Goulbourne has elite speed and is arguably the fastest skater on the Rockets roster. His best work is on the penalty killing unit. Also don't forget, Goulbourne scored a career high 14 goals this past season and tied for the team lead in game winning goals with six.
If you think he is all about fighting you are dead wrong.
In the 5th round, the Detroit Redwings picked Rockets d-man Mitch Wheaton. I think the only thing that hurt Wheaton from not being selected higher in the draft was the fact he played in just 39 regular season games as a rookie. With a larger viewing with more games under his belt, in my opinion Wheaton would have had a better shot of being selected in the third round.
It was nice to see Myles Bell recognized at the NHL draft when the New Jersey Devils called his name in the 6th round. Bell is as strong as an ox, and sorry Brandon's Ryan Pulock, possesses the hardest shot in the WHL. Many outsiders predict Bell will be playing pro this season, but I am not so sure he doesn't need another season to fully understand the position of forward. Is the 20 year-old (Bell will turn 20 in August) not better fit for another year of junior hockey on what many anticipate will be a Rockets team that should challenge for a WHL title?
It will all come down to how well the Calgary resident preforms at Devils training camp in September. A solid camp and he has a chance to stick in the AHL. A few struggles and another season in Kelowna would only help his future development not hinder it.


jaz301 said...

Its always great to see rocket players being drafted. Its even better when we see them playing in the NHL.

Unknown said...

It's amazing that the Canucks don't give a look to players in their backyard......