Defenceman Dustin Watt will be among the players that head coach Ty Davidson will be counting on to replace the loss of several veteran blueliners.

Rockets look to rebound from disappointing year as camp opens

The Rockets fell short of expectations last year, but remain optimistic they can return to the playoffs this season.

It’s fair to say that last season didn’t go exactly as planned for the Golden Rockets. Coming off a franchise-best playoff effort in 2012, expectations were at an all-time high for the team. A 15-32-1-4 record and a last place finish in the Eddie Mountain Division fell woefully short of those lofty expectations, but as is always the case with a new season, there is plenty of optimism as the Rockets open camp.

New rules that no longer treat out-of-province Canadian players like imports have provided head coach Ty Davidson with more wiggle room during the recruiting season, and he’s taken full advantage.

“We got a very good jump on things recruiting wise. We’ve committed to several kids from Alberta,” said Davidson. “I think we’ve upgraded in almost every position.”

For the second year in a row, Davidson has gone to California to fill the team’s goaltending needs, this time with Los Angeles native Mitchell Privett. Goaltending was hardly the only reason the Rockets missed the playoffs last year, but it also wasn’t a strength, something the team hopes to change this season.

“(Privett) was going to play Junior A last year until a knee injury sidelined him until Christmas,” Davidson explained. “In my opinion we are getting a very good Junior B goalie that was capable of playing Junior A.”

This time last season, the Rockets boasted a veteran defence core that included stalwarts Brett DeFrias, Coltin Berard, Michael Anderson and Matt McMath. With none of those four returning, the Rockets will rely on remaining veterans Dustin Watt and Daniel Dahlin to hold down the fort alongside several new recruits.

Dahlin will be counted on for more than just steady defensive play, as the local product has already been named the Rockets’ captain.

“The biggest thing I’ll say about Daniel is that he’s such a reliable person. When I tell him something needs to get done, it gets done. He’s a very reliable, responsible kid and he isn’t afraid to step up in the dressing room and say things,” Davidson said. “I think he’s going to be an excellent captain.”

Some questions remain as to who will be back for Davidson’s club up front, as many would-be returnees are participating in Junior A camps at the moment. Those who are cut will be returned to the Rockets.

With training camp getting underway on Aug. 29 and the season right around the corner, the team is still looking for more billets.

Those who are interested in becoming a billet should contact Rockets president Curt Thorne at 250-344-8924.

The Rockets will host the Revelstoke Grizzlies on Sept. 2 in the club’s first exhibition game. They’ll open the regular season on Sept. 12 on the road against the Princeton Posse.


Just Posted

RMI funding confirmed for another year

Discussion around how funding allocated needed, says Kimberley mayor

It’s playoff hockey time

Josh Lockhart looks at the first round matchup; Kimberley vs Fernie

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden Alpine Holiday

Widow of avalanche victim sues several guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

CP Rail train derailed near Field, B.C.

There was no threat to public safety and no injuries: CP Rail

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

B.C. Winter Games athletes work for gold in the last full day of competition

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Most Read