The Kelowna Rockets added 11 prospects to its stable of young players on Thursday in Calgary at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.
The Rockets picked four defencemen, including first overall pick Kaedan Korczak of Yorkton, SK at the draft of players born in 2001.
Kelowna opened the draft by trading its first round pick along with one of four third round picks to Red Deer to acquire the 11th overall selection, with which they selected Korczak. Korczak played midget AAA with the Yorkton Maulers last year, despite being only second year bantam age.
Along with the four blueliners, Kelowna also selected six forwards and a goaltender. Assistant General Manager Lorne Frey said building from the back end out has been a philosophy the club has had success with.
“We’ve had a philosophy for years that the back-end is very important,” said Frey. “You don’t win without some defencemen that can defend and also provide some offense. Kaedan is a big, solid, all around two-way player. He’s a good skater, he’s mobile and can play in every situation. He has a chance to be a stable defenceman for years for us.”
Here is a list of the Rockets bantam draft picks:
1. Kaedan Korczak – Defence – Yorkton, SK – Yorkton Maulers Midget AAA
3. Deegan Mofford – Centre – Rocky Mountain House, AB – Red Deer Bantam AAA
3. Dallon Wilton – Forward – Beausejour, MB – Eastman Bantam AAA
3. Roman Basran – Goalie Delta, BC – Delta Bantam Prep
4. Michael Gildon – Left Wing – Plano, TX – Dallas Stars Elite 16U
6. Cole Brooks – Defence – Estevan, SK – Estevan Bantam AA
7. Brandon MacKenzie-Kochen – Defence – Oakville, MB – Central Plains Bantam AAA
8. Kyle Crosbie – Forward Didsbury, AB – Airdrie Bantam AAA
9. Killian Kiecker-Olson – Forward – Andover, MIN – Colorado Thunderbirds U14
10. Jayden Lee – Defence – North Vancouver – North Shore Winter Club
10. Dylan Esau – Forward – Meadow Lake Stampeders