Carsen Twarynski (left) returned to the Kelowna Rockets this week, while Tomas Soustal was traded to Edmonton. —Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

Twarynski returns, Rockets deal Soustal

Carsen Twarynski to fill one of three 20-year-old spots this season, Soustal sent to Oil Kings.

As a player who filled both a 20-year-old and an import spot on the roster, the odds of Tomas Soustal remaining with the Kelowna Rockets’ this season were already diminished.

So when fellow over-ager Carsen Twarynski returned to the Western Hockey League club on Monday, Soustal officially became the odd man out.

The Rockets traded the Czech-born forward to the Edmonton Oil Kings this week for a fourth-round bantam draft pick in 2018.

With just three 20-year-old spots and a pair of import positions available, Rockets’ GM Bruce Hamilton said there simply wasn’t enough room for Soustal.

“The problem is we had two young Europeans already, (Libor) Zabransky, who has played real well, and (Marek) Skvrne who we want to give a chance to see what he can do,” said Hamilton. “Tomas was a ‘two-spotter’ so it can be tough to find room for those players. With Twarynski back, we had to make a decision and this was the way we decided we had to go.”

Soustal, a 2014 CHL Import Draft pick who was beginning his fourth season in Kelowna, recorded 47 goals and 113 points in 175 regular season games with the Rockets.

Twarynski, along with defencemen Gordie Ballhorn and James Hilsendager, will occupy the club’s 20-year-old spots to start the WHL season.

A 6-foot-2, 200-pound product of Calgary, Twarynski was returned to the Rockets this week from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.

As much as he was intent on launching his pro career this season, Twarynsi said returning to a team of the Rockets’ calibre has certainly softened the blow.

“Obviously it’s a good organization, I had a real good time here and being a 20-year-old in this league is a good time in your life,” said Twarynski, a third-round draft pick of the Flyers in 2016 who turns 20 next month. “To be able to come back to a team like this with the coaching staff, the players here and the city, it’s pretty special.”

Brought in last season add size and grit, Twarynski was acquired prior to the 2017 trade deadline from the Calgary Hitmen.

Hamilton said the 19-year-old power forward will be expected to fill a key role for the Rockets this season.

“He’s got to be more productive, we need a big body who can skate and play with (Dillon) Dube or (Kole) Lind, and we think he can do that,” Hamilton said of Twarynski, who had 27 points in 44 games with the Rockets, regular season and playoffs combined. “He has to bring some bite and keep other teams honest.”

Rockets vs Royals…

An early-season battle of the top two teams in the B.C. Division will take centre stage Wednesday at Prospera Place when the Rockets host the Victoria Royals. Face off is 7:05 p.m.

The Royals (4-0-0) are the Western Conference’s lone undefeated team, while the Rockets sit at 2-0-0-1.

Kelowna is coming off a 4-3 shootout loss Friday at home to the Everett Silvertips.

Just Posted

Truck fire forces evacuation of Lake Country gas station

No one was injured as firefighters quickly contained blaze at the Shell on Sunday afternoon

Gas leak contained near Lakeshore Road

Ruptured line was quickly contained Sunday morning by Kelowna Fire Department

High winds cause havoc for sailors

Kelowna Fire Department assists boats with broken masts on Okanagan Lake

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Search continues after human remains located

The search of the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road enters its fourth day

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Rockets raise money for autism

Western Hockey League club hosts third annual Family Day Sunday in Kelowna

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

A golden opportunity

Orthodontist offers sweet deal for the pocketbook

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Most Read