Four Kelowna Rockets draft picks have been selected to represent their provinces in this year’s U16 Challenge Cup, Oct. 19 to 23 in Calgary.
The four were WHL bantam draft selections this summer, led by defenceman Kaeden Korczak of Yorkton, SK, who was the Rockets first round pick, 11th overall.
Also named to U16 Challenge Cup teams were:
• Dallon Wilton of Beausejour, MB, was selected by the Rockets in the third round of the 2016 WHL draft.
• Roman Basran of Delta, BC, was selected by the Rockets in the third round of the 2016 WHL draft.
• Jayden Lee of North Vancouver, BC, was selected by the Rockets in the tenth round of the 2016 WHL draft.
The Challenge Cup is a tournament that will feature the highest-rated players in the under-16 age category from the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The tournament will be a four-team round robin format and is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for players.
Team British Columbia: Having not won the event since 2012, Team BC enters a strong roster which features two Rockets draft picks in goaltender Roman Basran, and defenseman Jayden Lee.
Team Saskatchewan: Never having won the tournament, Saskatchewan looks to change that. Kelowna Rockets first-rounder Kaedan Korczak (Yorkton, SK) stars on a sound blue line.
Team Alberta: The four-time champion Albertans will boast another star-studded roster that includes 10 first round selections from the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. The roster includes the top three picks from last May’s draft in Okotoks, Alberta.
Team Manitoba: After finishing as runners-up one year ago, Team Manitoba will look for their first title in 2016. Kelowna Rockets third round pick Dallon Wilton will add to a talented roster.
Current Rockets prospects that competed last year in the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup are: Konrad Belcourt (Team Alberta) and Liam Kindree (team B.C.)
Kelowna Rockets forward Nick Merkley is one of a few players that has played in the tournament (2012) and has been drafted into the NHL.