Bruce Hamilton, owner and general manager sits with Lorne Frey, director of player personnel of the Kelowna Rockets as they prepare for this years WHL draft. Photo: Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images

Rockets confident in position at upcoming WHL draft

The Rockets hold the 5th overall pick at the May 2 draft

The Kelowna Rockets are set to make a selection in the next crop of WHL talent.

The WHL Bantam Draft comes May 2, and the Rockets have the fifth overall pick in the draft, after failing to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Rockets’ GM Bruce Hamilton said they’ll maximize the best outcome with their pick and will consider all options, including trades.

“I’ve said and stated that the pick would be available if we were going to get something that met the value of it,” said Hamilton. “Now that I’ve seen the top British Columbia kids, that fifth pick is going to be a very high-end player that would certainly be on our team in two years and probably play games with us next year.”

“The value of that fifth overall pick is significantly higher than what I first thought it would be. The 2019 pick would give us the chance to get us a player that’s a very high talent. If we can get something in return that’s going to help our hockey club for next year with the Memorial Cup, we would certainly look at it, but it has to be something that will have an impact on our team because whoever we draft will certainly have an impact.”

READ MORE: Rockets’ Korczak named to U18 Team Canada roster

READ MORE: Kelowna Rockets announce Memorial Cup incentives for season tickets holders

The Rockets will look to add to their young roster with a player that could potentially break onto the team right away. With Kelowna hosting the 2020 Memorial Cup, Hamilton has stressed that the team needs to ensure the strongest roster possible when the Memorial Cup tournament begins next May.

The Rockets get an automatic berth into the 2020 Memorial Cup as its host, and will play the top three CHL teams next year.

READ MORE: Fighting for charity with local boxing club

Kelowna drafted Vancouver product Trevor Wong with the 18th pick in last years draft, and need several pieces moving forward that will fit with their young core of Nolan Foote, Lassi Thomson, Kaedan Korczak and Roman Basran.

Draft coverage can be found at kelownarockets.com.

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