Forward Brett Bulmer will make his Rockets season debut Friday against Portland.

Pro career on hold, Bulmer to lead Rockets

19-year-old forward returned to the WHL this week by Minnesota Wild

Being on the ice with his Kelowna Rockets teammates in practise this week brought a much needed smile back to Brett Bulmer’s face.

The 19-year-old forward’s National Hockey League dream was put on hold last weekend when he was reassigned to the WHL team by the Minnesota Wild.

Still, as disheartened as he was initially, Bulmer insists he’s ready to make the best of his return to Kelowna.

“It was pretty disappointing, I thought I was going to be there and I worked hard to make that an opportunity,” Bulmer said Tuesday before practise. “Being 19, you don’t want rush things, going back to junior is only going to help me, and benefit me I think.

“It’s something you dream about as a kid, and I got a big taste of it,” he said of his time in the NHL. “It’s tough to go back, but I can’t really dwell on things, I need to move forward.”

Bulmer played nine games with the Wild, scoring no goals, adding three assists and a +1 rating.

Rather than keeping Bulmer through the 10-game mark and activating the first year of this three-year contract, the Wild opted to give the Prince George native one more year of seasoning in major junior.

Bulmer, who will make his season debut with Kelowna Friday at home to Portland, is ready to assume a leadership role with the Rockets, on and off the ice.

“I need to be a huge leader for this team and try help every single kid in that room, just be a great teammate to them…and be a guy everyone in the room can count on.”

And what does Bulmer think about the possibility of suffering an emotional letdown after experiencing the best month of his hockey life ?

“Not at all,” Bulmer said. “I’ve got to keep the same level of play and you know, it might feel a little different at practise, and the first couple of games, but I played here I know what it’s like and I also played at the higher level, so I need to bring that here.

“I wouldn’t have got as many minutes playing (in Minnesota) as I will here, and being 19 I still have a big year develop.”

Another source of motivation for Bulmer being back in junior is the prospect of an invite to the Canadian junior team’s selection camp in December for the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary.

“(The world juniors) is something I think about, it’s definitely in the back of my head as motivation and I definitely want to be there.”

Bulmer’s return couldn’t come at a more opportune time for the Rockets who are riddled with injuries.

Six players are currently sidelined, however help could come from forward Jessey Astles who is expected to return this weekend after missing nine games with a head injury.

The Rockets and Winterhawks will play a doubleheader at Prospera Place, with face off both Friday and Saturday nights at 7.


Just Posted

Kelowna’s Pandosy Village Business Association looks to attract shoppers

Merchants to hold their annual Love Our Village Day promotional event Saturday

Kelowna cops investigating a serious hit and run Friday afternoon

Police say BMW driver fled the scene after a pedestrian was seriously injured on Rutland Road North

Cherry growers hope to avoid helicopter use

Extended rainfall can damage cherry crops

Updated: Kelowna bike share program proving popular

In the first week alone, 500 riders took 1,000 rides the city’s 180 Dropbikes

Kelowna film festival coming back for third year

The Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking’s IndieFest Film Festival goes July 14

What’s happening

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Updated: Weather office says more thunder and strong winds possible Friday afternoon, evening

Environment Canada says winds could gust at up to 70 kilometres per hour

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Most Read