Kryski at home with Rockets

Former Okanagan Rockets player, who spends his summers in Kelowna, is excited to join the WHL club

New Rockets forward Jake Kryski had 39 points in 67 games with the Kamloops Blazers last season.

When the Kelowna Rockets acquired him this month from the Kamloops Blazers, it represented, in many ways, a homecoming for Jake Kryski.

The 18-year-old Vancouver native not only played with the B.C. Major Midget League’s Okanagan Rockets in 2012-13, but has spent the last three summers living in Kelowna with his family.

So when word came earlier this month that he had been dealt to Kelowna for defencemen Joe and Danny Gatenby, it felt like a comfortable fit for the 5-foot-11, 188-pound forward.

“I’m pretty excited to be coming to such a great organization,” said Kryski. “Now that I’m living in Kelowna during the summers, it really will be like playing at home.

“It’s pretty big knowing my way around town, I’m familiar with most things, so I won’t need to use Google maps anymore,” he added with a laugh.

With the graduation of the high-scoring Tyson Baillie and the likely departures of Rourke Chartier and Justin Kirkland to the pro ranks—a trio which combined for 99 goals last season—the Rockets were in need of some reinforcement at forward this season.

In two years with the Blazers, Kryski showed some offensive potential with 23 goals and 40 assists in 132 games.

Now, as an 18-year-old heading into this third season, assistant GM Lorne Frey expects Kryski to be a key contributor for the Rockets.

“We’re certainly hoping he brings us some offense,” Frey said of Kryski. “He’s a skilled player, he’s got great speed and good vision. He’s gives us some much-needed depth up front.

“We think he’s going to continue to improve,” Frey said. “We’re hoping a change of environment will help him grow and develop.”

Kryski admitted to needing a change of scenery after two years with the Blazers and plans to make the most of his newest chapter of his junior career.

“Some of the guys leaving here were really good leaders and good scorers, so I hope I can add some scoring,” he said. “I just want to bring some energy and do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Highly-touted coming out of midget hockey with the Okanagan Rockets, Kryski was somewhat disappointed this past summer when he was passed over the NHL entry draft.

He’s already using that omission as motivation for the 2016-17 season.

“I was a little disappointed, I guess I didn’t quite have the year I needed to (in 2015-16) so that contributed to it a little bit,” Kryski said. “That motivated me and from the draft on I’ve worked a lot harder at my game. I hope to have a better year this year and get some eyes watching.”

Frey said Kryski will help bolster a forward group led this season by the likes of veterans Nick Merkley (expected back from injury in October), Dillon Dube, Calvin Thurkauf, Tomas Soustal, Rodney Southam and Kole Lind.

Competition for remaining jobs up front is stiff, with Jack Cowell, 17, and Nolan Foote, 16, among the newcomers who are in the running to crack the roster.

Frey said success on offence this season would could well hinge on a scoring-by-committee approach.

“We haven’t had early picks in the (bantam) draft the last few years, so we haven’t been able to land a high-end forward,” said Frey. “We’re going to have to rely on everybody to pick it up as a group. We’ll need everyone contributing.”

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Kelowna facing serious housing challenge

Report to city council shows major issues with the city’s housing situation

Flaggers unite on Okanagan highway

Traffic Control Personnel respond to colleague hit in Lavington

Freezing rain expected on the Coquihalla

Wet weather expected to cause issues on B.C. highways

New Central Okanagan school district office behind schedule

New building now expected to be completed by February 2018

Basement fire quickly extinguished

Fire crews quickly extinguished a basement fire at a home in Kelowna

Accident at Highway 97 near airport

Fire crews and ambulance officials have responded to the scene

Conservatives call for ICBC reform

Leader Scott Anderson of Vernon calls ICBC ‘national embarrassment

LGBTQ advocates want military, RCMP to take part in apology

“These are all the organizations that perpetrated past discrimination against the LGBTQ community.”

Canadians are getting bad advice from the taxman

An auditor has found that Canadians are getting bad advice from the taxman, when they can get through

B.C. mining company stakes claim in Australia

Copper Mountain is set to purchase Cloncurry Copper Project in a $93-million deal.

Serious home invasion reported in Kamloops

Two people are in hospital with serious injuries following a home invasion

Annett finishes season on the podium at Ironman Arizona

Penticton triathlete sets new course record on the bike

Cash donations create purchasing power

Salvation Army and food banks stretch a donated dollar a long way

Hergott: A pedestrian’s legal obligation

Lawyer Paul Hergott questions the moral obligation of pedestrians and motorists

Most Read