A pair of key veterans will make a return to the Kelowna Rockets’ lineup Saturday night at Prospera Place.
Defenceman Damon Severson and forward Myles Bell will make their WHL season debuts as the Rockets host the Victoria Royals in the first of eight meetings between the clubs.
Both draft picks of the New Jersey Devils, the 20-year-old Bell rejoined the club last weekend from the NHL team’s camp, while Severson, 19, arrived back in the Okanagan from New Jersey on Thursday.
“We’re returning two very key pieces to our puzzle,” Huska said of Severson and Bell. “It’s good, because it’s the end of not knowing whether we were going to get these players back, and now we can move forward as a hockey team.”
Bell’s return means one overage player will have to sit out each time the Rockets play.
The other 20 year-olds on the roster are G Jordon Cooke, F Zach Franko and D MacKenzie Johnston. One will no longer be with the club after Oct. 15, the deadline for WHL teams to declare their three overage players.
As for Victoria, the Royals are off to a slow start at 1-3-0, their latest defeat coming at the hands of Spokane, 6-1 on Wednesday.
Still, Huska expects Victoria to offer up more than what they’ve shown to date.
“They’re a team that’s always played with energy,” said Huska. “You look at their lineup and they have a great group of forwards. We always seem to have good games against them, so I wouldn’t expect anything different this time.”
Rocket Shots…The Rockets (2-0-0) earned honourable mention for the second week in a row in the CHL’s weekly rankings…Kelowna will visit the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday.