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

Successful program marrying arts and business groups in Kelowna comes to an end

But city officials say knowledge learned from artsVest program will continue to help local groups

Resources for victims of sexual violence to be made available at Hedley concert

A gathering is planned for outside Prospera Place on the date of the concert,

Knox Hill Climb set for another year

Popular and long-running event is ready for its 61st year in Kelowna

No resolutions for unhappy for north Westside residents

Self-governance hopes remain distant dream

Better information needed in emergencies

Lake Country - Suggestions were made to better communicate with tourists during emergencies

Salvation Army thanks community for fundraising

Local group helped many families over Christmas and the funds will keep going

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Date set for Silver Creek man’s bail ruling

Curtis Sagmoen will learn on Feb. 28 if he will be released from custody

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Most Read