Yale Academy centre Ethan Bowen was the Kelowna Rockets first choice in Thursday’s WHL bantam draft. -Image credit: stinkylockers.com

Rockets build on stable of centres in bantam draft

Kelowna’s first three choices Thursday are centres, including first pick Ethan Bowen

With their number not coming up until late in the second round of the WHL bantam draft, the Kelowna Rockets werent’t certain Ethan Bowen would still be aavailable.

So when the Rockets landed the Yale Academy centre with the 39th selection overall Thursday in Calgary, there was some cause for celebration.

“We’re thrilled that we got to draft this player,” said Rockets’ president and GM Bruce Hamilton. “We had him ranked much higher than where we picked him.

“We’re excited to introduce him to our coaching staff and to our players. He could be a strong player for our organization for years to come.”

Still, the Rockets could end in a recruiting battle for Bowen who is said to be a candidate to go the NCAA route and possibly play in the BCHL.

As far as being chosen by the Rockets, Bowen, a native of Chilliwack is excited to become a member of one of the WHL’s most successful franchises.

“Kelowna is a great organization and I’m very happy to have a great WHL option,” said the 5-foot-11 1/2 Bowen, who scored 33 goals and added 29 assists last season for Yale’s bantam prep team. “I really appreciate the opportunity to be associated with the Rockets. It’s a great organization with a great history of success.”

The Rockets were without a first-round pick this year after dealing the selection to the Prince Albert Raiders in the trade for forward Reid Gardiner.

Kelowna added to its stable of future centres with their next two choices. In the third round, 61st overall, the Rockets took Ethan Ernst from Yorkton, Sask., a forward with Saskatchewan’s Notre Dame Hounds. In round four, Kelowna went with Cole Carrier, a centre from Sherwood Park, via Strathcona, Alta.

The Rockets landed their first defenceman of the draft in the fourth round, choosing Rylan Donald 83rd overall.

Donald, from Star City, Sask., played this past season with the North East Wolfpack bantam AA team.

Later in the fifth, 106th overall, Kelowna took 6-foot-5 defenceman Kaeden Watkins from Saskatoon.

The Rockets remaining picks were: Jake Poole, RW, McAauley, Man.; James Bohn, D, POE; Cole Tisdale, G, Lethbridge; Stephen Kesslering, RW, Yorkton, Sask; Robert Kincaid, D, Kincaid, Alta; and Brody Wilson, C, Birtle, Man.

For the WHL draft tracker, click HERE.

Kelowna products drafted…

Kelowna’s Jack Finley was selected sixth overall by the Spokane Chiefs. The son of former Rockets’ assistant coach and NHL defenceman Jeff Finley, the younger Finley scored 23 goals and 48 points last season with the Pursuit of Excellence Bantam Prep team. Finley, a forward, stands in at 6-foot-3, 184 pounds…Kelowna’s Tanner Brown, D, was taken in the second round, 24th overall, by the Vancouver Giants. Brown played with the POE Bantam Prep team…Jaylen Luypen, LW, from Okanagan Hockey Academy was chosen in the ninth round by the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Vehicle rollover on Highway 33

Emergency crews are responding to a single vehicle rollover near Big White Road

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Fence to go up along part of Mission Creek

360 metres of chain-link fence to go up in Mission Creek Regional Park

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Three-vehicle accident on Highway 33

Crews are on the scene of the multi vehicle collision about 10 kms east of Kelowna

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Most Read