It wasn’t that long ago that Kelowna Rockets defenceman Madison Bowey was a 15-year-old in Rockets training camp.
Now at 18, Bowey is a Washington Capitals draft pick and returning for his third season with the Rockets.
But he’s not the only hockey-playing Bowey in Kelowna this week. Madison’s younger brother Connor Bowey is a 15-year-old defenceman hitting the ice with close to 180 other prospects at Rockets rookie camp.
The camp features a majority of players born in 1998 (15-year-olds) and is continuing until Sunday afternoon before several of them will be invited to the Rockets main training camp beginning on Monday.
Drafted in the eighth round of this year’s WHL bantam draft, Connor Bowey is, like his brother, an agile defenceman who likes to play at both ends of the rink. Coming to Kelowna and following in the foot-steps of Madison is something that Connor had been hoping for, as he watched his brother have success with the Rockets.
“I’ve wanted to play for the Rockets ever since Madison got here,” said Connor, who played bantam AAA in Winnipeg last season and is moving up to play midget this season. “It was a dream come true to hear my name called by Kelowna. Camp is going really good so far. I had to get used to the pace but I think I’ve played my game.”
Like his older brother, Bowey describes himself as a two way defenceman.
“I like to focus on defence but I also like to jump into the play as much as I can,” he said. “I’m smaller than my brother so I have to play smarter and not put myself in bad positions. I think we play similar games but I’m just not as physical.”
Watching from the stands on Friday was older brother Madison, who will participate in the Rockets main camp before heading to Washington for the Capitals’ training camp in early September. He said it was nice to be with the same team as his younger brother, something that had never happened before.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Bowey. “We’ve never played on the same ice surface together, basically just on the outdoor rink. Hopefully he gets invited to main camp and we could play on the same team. I’m hoping all the best for him. Hopefully he can do well.”
As for Connor Bowey, like many of the prospects at rookie camp, he was heading out to one of his seven games with a goal in mind.
“I just want to show how I can play, show the coaches and managers what I can do and that I will be ready,” he said.
Games continue at Rockets camp all day Saturday until Sunday afternoon when camp breaks. The Rockets main training camp opens on Monday and the team plays its first of two home exhibition games on Aug. 30. Tickets for the exhibition games are on sale at Select Your Tickets with $2 from each going to Cops for Kids.
The Rockets home opener is Sept. 21 against Kamloops.