Kelowna forward Kyle Topping was ranked 59th among North American skaters. —Image: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

No Kelowna Rockets taken in 2018 NHL entry draft

NHL teams pass on three ranked players — Topping, Zabransky and Mattson

Heading into the 2018 NHL entry draft, three Kelowna Rockets were on the radar.

But, when all was said and done Saturday, forwards Kyle Topping and Leif Mattson, as well as defenceman Libor Zabransky all went unclaimed in the seven rounds of draft in Dallas. The first round of the draft went Friday.

Topping was ranked the 59th best North American skater by NHL Central Scouting heading into the draft, with Zabransky ranked 115th and Mattson 157th.

Related story: Three Rockets ready for NHL Entry Draft

And it wasn’t just the Kelowna Rockets that had a down year at the draft this year. The entire Western Hockey League saw the number of players it has produced drop when it came to NHL teams picking players.

Only 20 WHL players were taken in this year’s draft in the seven rounds.

Topping and Mattson, both 18, have played two seasons each with the Rockets and Zabransky, also 18, just completed his rookie season with the team.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Businesses directly impacted by Hwy. 97 closure

Members of the Penticton Wine Country Chamber of Commerce faced late deliveries. no staff, etc.

Infighting at Kelowna Yacht Club makes it to court

Marc Whittemore, a local lawyer and prominent member of the club, filed a notice of civil claim Feb. 1

Kelowna athletes kick off Canada Winter Games

Saturday is day one of the Games in Red Deer

Princeton pot plant getting ready to hire

Princeton’s newest employer - which promises to be one of its biggest… Continue reading

Family Day fun starts today around the Central Okanagan

You don’t have to wait until Monday to enjoy free family fun

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Drive BC warning slippery conditions for Okanagan main highways

The region is forecasted to see flurries and snow for the first half of the weekend

Man and woman shot in targeted incident in Kamloops

The shooting happened yesterday afternoon

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read