The Kelowna Rockets salute fans on the end of the season after a game 6 loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds on April 30 at Prospera Place. - Credit: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

Rockets return to the ice

The Kelowna Rockets will be returning to the ice Monday Aug. 21, as they begin their rookie camp

It’s that time of year again.

The off-season comes to a close and hockey players return to the rinks. The Kelowna Rockets will be returning to the ice Monday Aug. 21, as they begin their rookie camp.

Players drafted by the Rockets through the past couple of seasons get the chance to showcase their skills to coaches and management and try and earn a spot in main camp. Rookie camp runs Aug. 21 to Aug. 25 at Prospera Place.

Head Coach Jason Smith said at the rookie camp, it’s all about impressions.

“Rookie camp is a good opportunity for our scouts and our organization to see our younger players and our draft picks from the last couple years come in and get an opportunity to make an impression,” said Smith.

“The guys that are here for their first time get a chance to experience what the Western Hockey League is about, and what coming to a training camp and being evaluated and watched is about. They’re going to be looking to put in a performance that’s going to grow their game to have success.”

The Rockets main camp runs from Aug. 25 to Aug. 31. Team selection is done during main camp, and carries over into preseason.

Returning players need to impress coaches as well, despite already having played for the club.

“For the guys that have been here before it’s still about making an impression, but it’s also about showing how much growth they’ve made in their game throughout the past season or previous seasons,” Smith said.

The Rockets take the ice for the first time in uniform this preseason Sept. 2, at Prospera Place when they host the Victoria Royals.