Sports

Rockets shine in NHL

Over 20 per cent of the skaters who have played in the NHL this season have come through the Western Hockey League and the Kelowna Rockets can lay claim to graduating a big chunk of them.

The Rockets boast 15 alumni who have played in the NHL this year, from big stars like Shea Weber (Nashville) and Josh Gorges (Montreal) to more recent grads debuting this season like Brandon McMillan (Anaheim) and Cody Almond (Minnesota).

Of the 868 players who had played at least one game in the NHL as of January, 186 are WHL grads.

Kelowna Rockets alumni in the NHL this season:

Shea Weber, Nashville

Tyler Myers, Buffalo

Duncan Keith, Chicago

Josh Gorges, Montreal

Travis Moen, Montreal

Jamie Benn, Dallas

Luke Schenn, Toronto

Alexander Edler, Vanc

Blake Comeau, New York

Vernon Fiddler, Phoenix

Brandon McMillan, Anaheim

Mikael Backlund, Calgary

Troy Bodie, Carolina

Kyle Cumiskey, Colorado

Cody Almond, Minnesota

In addition, there are 36 WHL grads currently on the coaching staffs of NHL clubs, and another 29 currently in key management positions.

The Minnesota Wild lead all NHL clubs with 12 WHL alumni having suited up for at least one NHL game. The Washington Capitals also have two WHL alumni on their coaching staff.

The Washington Capitals have seen 11 WHL grads suit up for at least one game while six WHL grads have played for the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks this season, including reigning Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Duncan Keith.

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