Twelve hours after the Prince Albert Raiders earned a spot in the 2019 Memorial Cup, the Kelowna Rockets announced a key addition for their 2020 Memorial Cup roster on Tuesday morning.
The Rockets, who will host the national championship tournament in 12 months’ time, said they have signed defenceman Sean Comrie.
“I’m excited for the long journey ahead next year,” said Comrie “I decided that wanted to go a different route, the opportunity with Kelowna hosting the Memorial Cup and the history of the club was something really intriguing to me.
“It will be a grind at some points, but I think management and the club will prepare us well for what lies ahead.”
The NHL’s Central Scouting Service has listed Comrie 108th amongst North American skaters for the upcoming NHL Draft this June in Vancouver.
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Earlier this month, Kelowna landed the 19-year-old’s rights during the WHL’s bantam draft.
Comrie was originally drafted by Brandon in 2015 at 44th overall, but the six-foot blue-liner chose the college route and wound up playing for the University of Denver this past season. In 18 games with the Pioneers, he had one assist and four penalty minutes.
“We are excited to have Sean sign with us,” Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton. “He will fit in well with the defencemen that we have returning.
“Sean was a high second round bantam pick, so obviously he has a real sound skill set. We look forward to having Sean join us this fall.”
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In making the trade, Kelowna gave up its fifth overall pick in the 2019 draft for Comrie’s rights. The Rockets also received got the 10th overall pick in the 2019 draft, which they flipped in a trade with Seattle.
The Thunderbirds received that pick plus the Rockets’ second-round pick in 2021, the Rockets’ first-round pick in 2022 and left winger Conner Bruggen-Cate. In return, Kelowna landed defenceman Jake Lee, forward Dillon Hamaliuk and goaltender Cole Schwebius.
On Monday evening, former Victoria Royal forward Dante Hannoun scored the game-winner, late into the first overtime period, as Prince Albert beat Vancouver 3-2 in Game 7 of the WHL championship series. Hannon’s game- and series-winner was scored at 18:25 of overtime before a sold-out crowd at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert.
“As a kid, you dream about it,” Hannoun told WHL.ca. “Game 7, overtime of the championship; there’s nothing better than that.”
The Raiders, whose roster includes former Rockets coaches Marc Habscheid and Jeff Truitt, last won the WHL title in 1985, a span of 34 years.