Goldenite Jake Gudjonson (right) will be counted on to help lead the Rockets’ attack next season.

Rockets coach pleased with spring camps

Jason Stephens believes the Rockets can take a major step forward next season.

The Golden Rockets and head coach Jason Stephens have hosted a pair of off-season camps this spring and summer and soon their eyes will turn towards the club’s main training camp at the end of August.

Stephens says he is pleased with how the offseason has gone thus far, and feels the Rockets are poised for a turnaround in 2016/2017 in large part due to what should be a much-improved blue line that will be built around returning defenders Kyle Rosolowski and Stephen Gaughran, as well as some exciting new recruits.

“I see our defence being a strength. We’ve added some guys on the back end that I think are really going to help us…(this off-season) we definitely had to shore up our defence and take care of our own end,” Stephens said.

Gaughran, a U.S. import, joined the Rockets late last season and made an immediate impact while playing in all 5 on 5 situations and on the top power play unit, but was sidelined towards the end of the year with an injury and was only able to play in 11 games.

“He’s a big body, he skates well and he shoots the puck really well…from what we’ve seen of him, we really like what he brought,” Stephens said.

In goal, Keyon Bittner and Owen Sikkes showed flashes of potential last season and there is a good chance that both will be returning to the fold next year.

Up front, Rockets returnees should include local Jake Gudjonson as well as Riley Barnes and Terix Fischer-Kobes. It remains a weakness for the squad, but Stephens is hopeful that some new recuits can change that and allow the team to improve on the 106 goals they scored across last season’s 52 game schedule.

“We still need some more firepower up front…I’d still like to find a couple more guys that can fit in that top six role for us, but everybody’s looking for those guys,” Stephens said.

A pair of Goldenites will be working hard this summer to get ready for camp, with designs of making the team in September. Isaiah Fedow appeared in 8 games for the Rockets last year and is eligible to play midget hockey again next season if he isn’t ready for the junior ranks. Trey Beckett’s midget career is over and he’ll be hoping to make the jump to junior. So far, Stephens likes what he’s seen from both young players.

“They’re two guys that are on the radar right now…They played really hard at (spring) camp,” Stephens said.

Off the ice, the Rockets will welcome a new team president as Grant Holtz will take over for Curt Thorne.

The Rockets will hold their main training camp from Aug. 26 to 28 and the regular season will begin in September.

 

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Mountain Minute August 16

Golden’s weekly 60-second news recap… Continue reading

UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

Motorists should detour using Kootenay Lake ferry

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacuation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearby community of Kimberley.

Kootenay man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the Kootenays

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

Despite threats, Soldiers of Odin a no show at B.C. tent city

Nanaimo’s Discontent City held a counter rally on Sunday

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in 2019

PM Justin Trudeau gears up to run in next year’s election

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Most Read