When Kelowna Rockets captain Colton Sissons suffered a season-ending injury in the second to last game of the Western Hockey League’s regular season, it was a crushing blow to the Rockets, who lost their captain and emotional leader.
The 19-year-old Sissons suffered a broken collarbone and was lost to the Rockets for the remainder of the playoffs. It’s likely the last game the North Vancouver native would play for the Rockets as the Nashville Predators draft pick is expected to play professional hockey next year, either with the Predators and with their American Hockey League affiliate.
Capital News reporter Kevin Parnell spoke with Sissons before he left town for the off-season.
Kevin Parnell: What was it like to have to watch the season come to an end from the sidelines instead of playing?
Colton Sissons: It’s always a pretty weird feeling in your stomach when your season is over and the way it ended for me was very disappointing. I wish I could have been out there performing for my team but injuries happen. It’s a part of the game and a part of life and something I have to come to terms with and move on.
KP: Playoff hockey seems to fit your style of play so how difficult was it to have to watch instead of getting in there and battling it out?
CS: Yeah, it was brutal. That’s the kind of player I am. That’s why I play the game: For that compete and the passion. Playoffs is what I work for. It was super disappointing and incredibly stressful to be sitting on the sidelines to be honest.
KP: As captain, you had to be proud of the group that battled back from down 3-0 to Seattle and gave Kamloops a pretty good run as well.
CS: There were a few pretty big holes to fill and guys stepped up unbelievably. It was a tough situation to be in with all those injuries and going to seven games with so few bodies. Guys like Tyson Baillie and Henrik Nyberg really stepped up and I was very proud of the guys.
KP: You’ve really developed over your three years with the Rockets. Can you reflect on your time in Kelowna?
CS: It’s been an unbelievable ride. All the opportunities the Rockets have given me as player and a person. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. It’s pretty emotional memories that I have over the three years. Being captain of this team and hopefully now joining the group of guys that are the Rockets alumni playing in the NHL. I hope to be one of those guys one day. It’s just been a really special journey for me as a person.
KP: What about the off-season heading to the Nashville Predators camp? Now you have to change your focus.
CS: First and foremost I have to heal up and make sure I’m healthy and 100 per cent and then I’m going to get back to work in the summer and hopefully have the biggest summer I’ve had and get much bigger, stronger and much faster. I’m prepared to do the work and we’ll see what happens. I’m going to go to the Predators camp and work hard and show them why they drafted me. I hope to make the Predators next year for sure.