Yale Academy centre Ethan Bowen was the Kelowna Rockets first choice in Thursday’s WHL bantam draft. -Image credit: stinkylockers.com

Rockets build on stable of centres in bantam draft

Kelowna’s first three choices Thursday are centres, including first pick Ethan Bowen

With their number not coming up until late in the second round of the WHL bantam draft, the Kelowna Rockets werent’t certain Ethan Bowen would still be aavailable.

So when the Rockets landed the Yale Academy centre with the 39th selection overall Thursday in Calgary, there was some cause for celebration.

“We’re thrilled that we got to draft this player,” said Rockets’ president and GM Bruce Hamilton. “We had him ranked much higher than where we picked him.

“We’re excited to introduce him to our coaching staff and to our players. He could be a strong player for our organization for years to come.”

Still, the Rockets could end in a recruiting battle for Bowen who is said to be a candidate to go the NCAA route and possibly play in the BCHL.

As far as being chosen by the Rockets, Bowen, a native of Chilliwack is excited to become a member of one of the WHL’s most successful franchises.

“Kelowna is a great organization and I’m very happy to have a great WHL option,” said the 5-foot-11 1/2 Bowen, who scored 33 goals and added 29 assists last season for Yale’s bantam prep team. “I really appreciate the opportunity to be associated with the Rockets. It’s a great organization with a great history of success.”

The Rockets were without a first-round pick this year after dealing the selection to the Prince Albert Raiders in the trade for forward Reid Gardiner.

Kelowna added to its stable of future centres with their next two choices. In the third round, 61st overall, the Rockets took Ethan Ernst from Yorkton, Sask., a forward with Saskatchewan’s Notre Dame Hounds. In round four, Kelowna went with Cole Carrier, a centre from Sherwood Park, via Strathcona, Alta.

The Rockets landed their first defenceman of the draft in the fourth round, choosing Rylan Donald 83rd overall.

Donald, from Star City, Sask., played this past season with the North East Wolfpack bantam AA team.

Later in the fifth, 106th overall, Kelowna took 6-foot-5 defenceman Kaeden Watkins from Saskatoon.

The Rockets remaining picks were: Jake Poole, RW, McAauley, Man.; James Bohn, D, POE; Cole Tisdale, G, Lethbridge; Stephen Kesslering, RW, Yorkton, Sask; Robert Kincaid, D, Kincaid, Alta; and Brody Wilson, C, Birtle, Man.

For the WHL draft tracker, click HERE.

Kelowna products drafted…

Kelowna’s Jack Finley was selected sixth overall by the Spokane Chiefs. The son of former Rockets’ assistant coach and NHL defenceman Jeff Finley, the younger Finley scored 23 goals and 48 points last season with the Pursuit of Excellence Bantam Prep team. Finley, a forward, stands in at 6-foot-3, 184 pounds…Kelowna’s Tanner Brown, D, was taken in the second round, 24th overall, by the Vancouver Giants. Brown played with the POE Bantam Prep team…Jaylen Luypen, LW, from Okanagan Hockey Academy was chosen in the ninth round by the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Just Posted

Kelowna council defers decision on homeless development

BC Housing is revisiting original plan after concerns from local businesses

3% tax hike proposed in West Kelowna

Proposed provisional budget tax hike in line with recent annual increases in the city

Okanagan robbery suspect sought

RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in an… Continue reading

11-year-old water quality advisory lifted in Glenmore

Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District says Interior Health gave the green light to lift advisory

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Crook’s Corner

A slice of this week’s arts and entertainment happenings in the North Okanagan at a glance

Liberal Hogg wins South Surrey-White Rock byelection over Conservative Findlay

B.C. riding to be represented by non-conservative for first time in decades

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Most Read