Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton continues to wheel and deal ahead of hosting the 2020 Memorial Cup in Kelowna,
Only a week after trading for Seattle Thunderbirds captain Matthew Wedman, Hamilton has made room for another 20 year-old.
Late Saturday, after taking a 4-3 overtime decision against the Moose Jaw Warriors in Saskatchewan, the Rockets announced the acquisition of Conner McDonald.
“We’re excited to have Conner join our team,” said Hamilton.
“We’ve been looking for another defenceman that has power play experience. With it looking more and more like we’re not going to get Lassi Thomson back, we felt it was imperative that we get somebody who can help out on the back end of our power play.” Hamilton added.
McDonald is a Delta, B.C. product , who has appeared in 271 WHL regular-season games, collecting 131 points (40G, 91A) and 230 penalty minutes.
Last season McDonald posted a career-high 19 goals and 50 points.
In exchange for McDonald the Rockets gave up their 2021 first-round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft and third-round pick at the 2023 draft.
In order to make room on the roster for McDonald the Rockets had to place 20 year-old defenceman Carson Sass on waivers.
“He has been a great addition to our hockey club for the first half of the year. We’d like to thank Carson for everything that he has done for our organization, we wish him the best moving forward.”
Hamilton said of Sass’ service with the Kelowna Rockets.
McDonald was invited to attend the Ottawa Senators rookie camp and tournament this past fall, earning an invite to the Sens’ main camp.
The 6’0″, 192-pound defenceman was originally drafted by the Kamloops Blazers during the second round (No. 24) during the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
McDonald hasn’t played with the Oil Kings since November.
The Rockets are set to host the Vancouver Giants Wednesday at Prospera Place before the team breaks for Christmas.