Pavel Novak, the Czech Republic prospect the Kelowna Rockets drafted at the 2019 CHL Import Draft, signed a WHL contract with the Rockets. Photo: Ronald Hansel/ Juniorský hokej

Rockets sign import pick ahead of Memorial Cup season

Pavel Novak was drafted by the Rockets at the CHL Import Draft in June

The Kelowna Rockets have signed their top pick from this years CHL Import Draft.

Czech Republic forward Pavel Novak signed a standard WHL agreement with the Rockets last week. Novak was drafted 13th overall from the 2019 import draft and will join the Rockets ahead of main team camps.

Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton said Novak will fit well into the Rockets’ depth.

“We’re very excited to have Pavel sign with us,” said Hamilton.

“He had an excellent Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He’s 17 years old, so he is heading into his draft year. I think that he is going to fit into our top nine, we’re excited for him to arrive here in Kelowna.”

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At the Hlinka Gretsky Cup, an international junior hockey tournament, Novak helped lead Team Czech Republic to a fifth-place finish with two goals and one assist.

Novak played with the Motor Ceske Budejovice U19 club of Czech Republic during the 2018-2019 season. In 31 games, the 17-year-old had 29 goals and 16 assists.

Novak is expected to compete for a starting roster spot ahead of the season-opener on Sept. 21.

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