Kelowna Rockets rookie Pavel Novak may just hear his name called when the 2020 NHL Entry Draft gets underway on Tuesday night.
Originally scheduled for June 26 and 27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the draft will take place virtually on Oct. 6 and 7.
Forward Pavel Novak is expected to hear his name called sometime on the second day of the draft. The Czech Republic product is ranked No. 85 on the NHL’s Central Scouting final ranking of North American skaters heading into the draft. His rank has him projected as a third-round pick, but anything could happen.
If a Rocket is selected in the draft, it will be the second year in a row that at least one player was selected. Last year, Kelowna led the CHL with four players selected at the 2019 NHL Draft, including two in the first round; Lassi Thomson (19), Nolan Foote (27), Kaedan Korczak (41) and Dillon Hamaliuk (55).
Drafted 13th overall by the Rockets during the 2019 CHL Import Draft, Novak jumped into the Rockets lineup and made an immediate impact, continually finding the scoresheet.
Named the Rockets Rookie of the Year, Novak led the Rockets in points this season with 58 (25G, 33A) in 55 games played. He also led the team in goals and game-winning goals with five, his eight power-play goals also tied Nolan Foote for the team lead. Novak finished fourth in CHL rookie scoring, eight points back of Kingston’s Shane Wright.
He’s the first rookie to lead the Rockets in scoring since Cody Almond did during the 2006-07 campaign, and the first European to lead the organization in scoring since Vaclav Varada did with Tacoma during the 1994-95 season.
With the start of the Western Hockey League season delayed, Novak has been loaned to HC Stadion Litomerice. He has appeared in five games for Stadion, posting four points (1G, 3A) and two penalty minutes.