The ice was put back into place at Prospera Place last Friday and now the Kelowna Rockets rookie camp officially begins with what is expected to be an exciting winter of hockey.
Close to 180 new faces will attempt to catch the eye of Rockets Director of Player Personnel Lorne Frey over the four days, but realistically about five or six rookies will be fortunate enough to be invited to main camp next week.
The most likely to make the move to main camp is 15 year-old Dillon Dube (pictured right). Dube was the Rockets first round pick from this summer’s WHL bantam draft and traditionally the organization likes to have their first rounder mingle with the veterans. It’s a formula that has worked well in the past with Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers, Tyson Barrie, Shane McColgan and most recently Rourke Chartier.
It will be interesting to watch 15 year-old Connor Bowey in action over the next few days. The Winnipeg defenceman is the younger brother of veteran d-man Madison Bowey. I anticipate Connor having the skating ability of his younger brother, but obviously without the physical maturity of his older bro. Connor Bowey was an 8th round pick of the Rockets in 2013.
I’m always interested to see which goalie establishes himself at rookie camp. Over the years you’d be hard pressed to get excited about a goaltending prospect. Even Jordon Cooke, who was a raw rookie at 17 earned a backup spot with the team, not at rookie camp but at main camp to Adam Brown. Brown, as a rookie, showcased his skills at main camp before earning a spot backing up veteran Mark Guggenberger in 2009.
Does a 15 year-old goalie make a huge impact and separate from the pack in 2013? I sure hope so.
While Cookie and Jackson Whistle have the position locked up, who is the future of the Rockets organization in the most crucial position on the ice? We are about to find out over the next four days.