Jermaine Loewen #32 of the Kamloops Blazers stick checks Kole Lind #16 of the Kelowna Rockets in front of the bench on March 24, 2017 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. - Image: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze.

Rockets players off to NHL camps

As Kelowna prepares for another preseason WHL game, many vets are heading out of town

The Kelowna Rockets are losing many players this week to NHL training camps, as it gets set for another preseason game.

With the Kamloops Blazers in town Tuesday, veterans have begun the annual exodus to NHL camps.

Prospects will begin getting more opportunity to showcase their talents as the Rockets will be without Dillon Dube (Calgary), Kole Lind (Vancouver), Cal Foote (Tampa Bay), Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia), Braydyn Chizen (Minnesota), Devante Stephens (Buffalo), Tomas Soustal (Dallas), Calvin Thurkauf (Columbus), Nick Merkley (Arizona), and Lucas Johansen (Washington) as they disperse throughout the week to their respective NHL camps.

The Rockets will take on their closest rivals, the Kamloops Blazers, on Tuesday night at Prospera Place.

Head Coach Jason Smith says the preseason is about his players improving each night.

“It’s about evaluating and trying to introduce systems, making sure compete and work ethic are there,” Smith said. “We want the young guys to continue to get better and build confidence. We want them to show they’re coachable, that they work, and that they get better each time they’re out there.”

Kelowna is looking to bounce back as they opened the preseason on Saturday dropping that contest 5-4 in overtime to the Victoria Royals.

The Rockets are back in action on Friday night, Sept. 8, when they host the Kamloops Blazers at Prospera Place for the first half of a home-and-home weekend. Puck drop on Friday is at 7:05 p.m.