In Case You Missed It
Here’s the view from the other side.
The Kelowna Rockets (43-21-5-0, 91 points) are a perennial power. They’ve won seven straight and nine of their last 10, and are just two points behind the Prince George Cougars for the B.C. Division lead with a game in hand. The Rockets beat the Tips 4-3 in overtime at home in October and fell 5-4 in Everett on MLK Day. Kelowna then topped Everett 3-2 in a shootout on March 3 at Xfinity Arena.
It’s almost easier to talk about who isn’t a player to watch.
No. 7 Lucas Johansen (D): The younger brother of current Nashville Predator forward Ryan Johansen, Lucas signed an NHL entry-level deal two weeks ago.
No. 10 Nick Merkley (F): The Calgary native was selected 30th overall by Arizona in the 2015 NHL draft.
No. 18 Carsen Twarynski (F): The late 1997-born center from Calgary was a third-round pick of Philadelphia in the 2016 NHL draft.
No. 19 Dillon Dube (C): The native of Cochrane, Alberta, was a second-round pick of the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL draft.
No. 21 Devante Stephens (D): The Surrey, B.C., native was a fifth-round pick of Buffalo in the 2015 NHL draft.
No. 23 Reid Gardiner (F): The overager spent much of the year with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL before his rights were traded to Kelowna at the WHL deadline.
No. 27 Calvin Thurkauf (F): The Swiss import was a seventh-round pick by Columbus in the 2016 NHL draft.
Nos. 25 and 29, the Foote brothers: Cal (25) is a projected first-round pick as a defenseman in this year’s draft. Nolan (29) is a 6-3, 177-pound rookie forward.