Thursday, May 1, 2014

'Smart' pick by Rockets

Jonathan Smart
The Kelowna Rockets did something they have never done before by drafting a local player in the opening round of the WHL Bantam Draft.

Director of Player Personnel Lorne Frey picked 15 year-old defenceman Jonathan Smart 22nd overall.

Smart played this season at Okanagan Hockey Academy under the watchful eye of head coach Mike Needham.

"I have spoke to a lot of different teams over the last couple of weeks about Jonathan and I was surprised he slipped to where Kelowna got him to be honest with you. It is a very, very good pick for Kelowna".

Smart is regarded as a gifted skater with an offensive upside.

"He is a kid that jumps up into the rush. He is the prototypical NHL guy that can move the puck and come late and enter the offensive zone late and give you some offence from the back end", Needham added. 

Smart's father is Jason Smart, who was drafted by the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and was a forward in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades and Prince Albert Raiders in the late 80's. 

The 44 year-old was elated that his son was taken by the home town team.

"We are so over the top happy. It is just great. We are happy for our son and happy that it is Kelowna. It really couldn't have gone any better".

Jason Smart is now an RCMP officer in Kelowna. His wife and family moved to the Okanagan from Williams Lake in 2004.     

"The defence thing came naturally at a young age. He always wanted to score but wanted to defend", Smart added. "He never was big on being scored on so he found out in Adam and Pee-Wee that he could still play back there and still score goals".

Smart had 42 points in 48 games with OHA this past season.

1 comment:

becky said...

Hi Regan, Just to let you know we truly are Rockets fans forever. Johnathon is my first cousins son. Ryan and Craig are both very excited for him. Congrats to Johnathon such a great team and organization to be drated by.Very happy for him. Also Congrats to the organization on such a good run this year. Love those Rockets.