Four members of the Kelowna Rockets were drafted by NHL teams at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark, New Jersey on Sunday.
Defenceman Madison Bowey and Mitchell Wheaton as well as forwards Tyrell Goulbourne and Myles Bell were all selected in the annual event.
Bowey was the highest rated Rockets player to be selected as the skilled defenceman was taken in the second round of the draft (53rd overall) by the Washington Capitals.
“Such a surreal feeling,” Bowey said via Twitter after the draft. “So proud to be joining such a great organization. Can’t wait to get started with the team.”
After Bowey’s selection, it wasn’t long until another Rockets player would be selected, however it wasn’t one anyone was expecting. The Philadephia Flyers selected hard-nosed Rockets winger Goulbourne in the third round with the 72nd overall pick.
Goulbourne wasn’t previously listed by NHL Central Scouting.
“This is just going to make me work even harder,” said Goulbourne. “Not saying I wasn’t before but after you get drafted you really start to believe and you have another thing to work for. My goal is to make the team better in Kelowna for the next couple years and then hopefully move on in Philadelphia’s organization.”
Next up was Wheaton, the towering 6-foot-5 defenceman, who was taken by Detroit in the fifth round (139).
Rockets leading scorer Myles Bell was also taken, as the New Jersey Devils took Bell in the sixth round (160).
Goulbourne said it was an amazing day to see three other members of the Rockets drafted.
“It was crazy, those guys are amazing players: Bowey, Wheaton and Bell,” he said. “Just to be drafted in the same draft year as them is pretty special to me. I’m sure those guys have the same feeling it was just really special to me to be drafted with this draft class.”
West Kelowna Warriors forward David Pope was also drafted in Sunday’s NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-2, 187 pound left wing was selected in the fourth round (109 overall) by the Detroit Red Wings. Pope had 39 points in 42 games last season with West Kelowna.