With a pair of veteran, over-age players shelved with injuries, the Kelowna Rockets went to the Western Hockey League’s waiver wire for help, claiming the rights to 20-year-old forward Cody Fowlie.
A 6-foot, 205-pound native of Airdrie, Alta., Fowlie was in his third season with the Everett Silvertips.
With J.T. Barnett (2 to 3 weeks) and Mitchell Chapman (one month-plus) both on the sidelines, Dylen McKinlay was the only overage player seeing duty for the Rockets.
“Having just one 20-year-old in your lineup isn’t really enough,” said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska. “A lot of times, those older guys can come in and push the rest of your lineup, including the other over-age players. We want to see Cody come in here and compete for a spot.”
With the addition of Fowlie, the Rockets now have four 20-year-old players on the roster.
Once all four are deemed healthy, the Rockets will have two weeks to decide which three will remain with the club.
Fowlie will join the Rockets this week for a four-game road trip in Alberta.
Kelowna will play four games in five nights, beginning Wednesday night in Medicine Hat against the Tigers.
The Rockets (6-5-1-0) are coming off a productive week at home which featured a pair of victories.
“We want to have the mindset of going out there and coming back at a minimum of .500,” Huska said. “It’s a challenging situation with four games in five nights and all are in tough buildings. We want to go and play well and continue building on what we’ve done as a team so far this season.”
The Rockets will be in Red Deer Friday, Edmonton Saturday, and Calgary on Sunday.
Kerdiles not expected
The Rockets don’t expect to see blue-chip prospect Nicolas Kerdiles in Kelowna this season.
The 18-year-old American-born forward is expected to remain with the University of Wisconsin Badgers for the 2012-13 season after he had his one-year suspension reduced this week by the NCAA.
Kerdiles, who the NCAA alleges broke eligibility rules, will instead be required to miss only 30 per cent of the season—10 games—and will be cleared to return to the Badgers Nov. 30.
Kerdiles could have chosen to play with the Rockets this season, the WHL club that drafted the talented winger in the eighth round of the 2009 bantam draft.
“It sounds like he’s decided to stay in Wisconsin,” said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska. “To get a player of his calibre would have been a huge bonus. We were hopeful he would come but we weren’t counting on it.”