Kryski at home with Rockets

Former Okanagan Rockets player, who spends his summers in Kelowna, is excited to join the WHL club

New Rockets forward Jake Kryski had 39 points in 67 games with the Kamloops Blazers last season.

When the Kelowna Rockets acquired him this month from the Kamloops Blazers, it represented, in many ways, a homecoming for Jake Kryski.

The 18-year-old Vancouver native not only played with the B.C. Major Midget League’s Okanagan Rockets in 2012-13, but has spent the last three summers living in Kelowna with his family.

So when word came earlier this month that he had been dealt to Kelowna for defencemen Joe and Danny Gatenby, it felt like a comfortable fit for the 5-foot-11, 188-pound forward.

“I’m pretty excited to be coming to such a great organization,” said Kryski. “Now that I’m living in Kelowna during the summers, it really will be like playing at home.

“It’s pretty big knowing my way around town, I’m familiar with most things, so I won’t need to use Google maps anymore,” he added with a laugh.

With the graduation of the high-scoring Tyson Baillie and the likely departures of Rourke Chartier and Justin Kirkland to the pro ranks—a trio which combined for 99 goals last season—the Rockets were in need of some reinforcement at forward this season.

In two years with the Blazers, Kryski showed some offensive potential with 23 goals and 40 assists in 132 games.

Now, as an 18-year-old heading into this third season, assistant GM Lorne Frey expects Kryski to be a key contributor for the Rockets.

“We’re certainly hoping he brings us some offense,” Frey said of Kryski. “He’s a skilled player, he’s got great speed and good vision. He’s gives us some much-needed depth up front.

“We think he’s going to continue to improve,” Frey said. “We’re hoping a change of environment will help him grow and develop.”

Kryski admitted to needing a change of scenery after two years with the Blazers and plans to make the most of his newest chapter of his junior career.

“Some of the guys leaving here were really good leaders and good scorers, so I hope I can add some scoring,” he said. “I just want to bring some energy and do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Highly-touted coming out of midget hockey with the Okanagan Rockets, Kryski was somewhat disappointed this past summer when he was passed over the NHL entry draft.

He’s already using that omission as motivation for the 2016-17 season.

“I was a little disappointed, I guess I didn’t quite have the year I needed to (in 2015-16) so that contributed to it a little bit,” Kryski said. “That motivated me and from the draft on I’ve worked a lot harder at my game. I hope to have a better year this year and get some eyes watching.”

Frey said Kryski will help bolster a forward group led this season by the likes of veterans Nick Merkley (expected back from injury in October), Dillon Dube, Calvin Thurkauf, Tomas Soustal, Rodney Southam and Kole Lind.

Competition for remaining jobs up front is stiff, with Jack Cowell, 17, and Nolan Foote, 16, among the newcomers who are in the running to crack the roster.

Frey said success on offence this season would could well hinge on a scoring-by-committee approach.

“We haven’t had early picks in the (bantam) draft the last few years, so we haven’t been able to land a high-end forward,” said Frey. “We’re going to have to rely on everybody to pick it up as a group. We’ll need everyone contributing.”





Just Posted

Day of Remembrance honours road traffic victims

People killed or seriously injured on Canadian roads remembered Sunday in Kelowna

Community Leader Awards: Coach Dean Kennedy

Kelowna Capital News Leader of the Year series on those that give back to the community

Snowfall warning between Merritt and Hope

As much as 20 centimteres of the white stuff is expected along a stretch of the Coquhialla

Double book launch in Kelowna

Authors Sharon Thesen and Erin Moure read from their new works Thursday at library

Westbank Opry announces Christmas show

West Kelowna music fans are encouraged to bring a food donation to help the less fortunate

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

Making a difference at Okanagan Boys and Girls Club

Kelowna company president rolls up sleeves with local organization

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Vernon poet makes poetry prize shortlist

He’s been involved with the craft since the ’70s, gaining recognition along the way

Most Read