Tough year to crack Kelowna Rockets starting lineup
KELOWNA – The Kelowna Rockets main training camp is in full swing with about three dozen hopefuls joining returning veterans this week to try to make the team roster.
The General Manager likes what he sees and promises to ice an entertaining product.
“I think we’re going to have a real good team, an exciting team. It always gets the fans excited when there’s a team that’s not just going to play a defensive brand of hockey. It’s going to be an offensive, wide-open style,” says Bruce Hamilton.
Former assistant coach Dan Lambert has stepped into the head coach position with Ryan Huska having stepped up to the American Hockey League.
“I feel good right now. We have a good group of kids coming back for us and that always makes a coach’s job a lot easier when you feel comfortable with the leaders out there and we have that. We have a great leadership group,” says Lambert.
The Rockets also have a new starting goaltender.
Jackson Whistle had been playing backup to the departed, over-aged Jordan Cooke for the past two seasons.
“I’m not worried about him. It’s his turn now to come in as a 19 year old and take the job and the fight probably is in the spot to back him up. Whistle will certainly get the nod at the start and we’ll see what he does,” says Hamilton.
There are about 60 players at the main camp.
That will be reduced by about half when it wraps up Friday.
The Rockets first home game of the season is Saturday, September 20th when they play host to the Kamloops Blazers.