Rockets land veteran forward, Bulmer stays put
With his father living in Penticton, and a sister residing across the street from Prospera Place, Brett Lyon has more than a passing knowledge of life in the Okanagan.
On top of that, he played one season of hockey in Kelowna with the Pursuit of Excellence program.
Now the 20-year-year forward and native of Grand Forks is back to make Kelowna his home for the remainder of his Western Hockey League career.
The Rockets acquired Lyon Tuesday from the Moose Jaw Warriors in exchange for a pair of bantam draft picks, a seventh-rounder in 2013 and a fifth-rounder in 2014.
"At first I was pretty shocked, I didn't expect to be traded and I thought I would finish my career in Moose Jaw, but I know it's part of the business," Lyon said Tuesday. "But I know Kelowna has a great organization, I'm familiar with the city, and I have family there, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited to try and help my new team."
Lyon, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound forward was to make his debut with the Rockets Wednesday night in Portland against the Winterhawks.
In Moose Jaw, Lyon was enjoying by far his best season in junior with 11 goals, 17 assists and 95 penalty minutes in 41 games.
During his career with the Warriors, Vancouver Giants and Kamloops Blazers, Lyon has 19 goals and 54 points in 199 games.
In Lyon, the Rockets get a physical presence who has also emerged this season as an offensive threat.
He's expected to add depth up front and support for the team's top forwards, including Colton Sissons, Brett Bulmer and Shane McColgan.
"We're glad to have another older guy that can play," said Rockets president and GM Bruce Hamilton. "He's having a pretty good year and we're excited to see him in the lineup."
For Lyon's part, he prides himself in being able to play a well-rounded game.
"I like to play a gritty game, be physical and contribute offensively when I can," said Lyon. "I try and play a strong two-way game, be responsible at both ends. Hopefully I can to do that with Kelowna and help the Rockets win."
To make room for Lyon—WHL teams are allowed a maximum of three over-age players—the Rockets released 20-year-old veteran defenceman Kevin Smith and placed him on waivers.
In his second season with the Rockets, Smith had a goal and 14 points in 27 games.
Meanwhile, despite a number of offers from other teams for his services prior to Tuesday's deadline, forward Brett Bulmer will remain in a Rockets uniform for the rest of the 2011-12 campaign.
Bulmer, 19, who spent nine games with the NHL's Minnesota Wild before being returned to the WHL in November, has 18 goals and 33 points in 24 games with the Rockets.
The Rockets will play again in Portland on Friday, in Vancouver Saturday, and in Everett Sunday night against the Silvertips.