October 04, 2016 - 3:31 PM
KELOWNA - Four Kelowna Rockets draft picks have been selected to represent their provinces in this year’s U16 Challenge Cup.
The four were all WHL Bantam Draft selections this summer with Rockets 1st rounder Kaeden Korczak of Yorkton, Sask. the top draft pick.
Also named to U16 Challenge Cup teams were:
Dallon Wilton of Beausejour, MB. was selected by the Rockets in the third round of the 2016 WHL draft.
Roman Basran of Delta, B.C. was selected by the Rockets in the third round of the 2016 WHL draft.
Jayden Lee of North Vancouver, B.C. was selected by the Rockets in the tenth round of the 2016 WHL draft.
The Challenge Cup is a tournament that will feature the highest-rated players in the under-16 age category from the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Team British Columbia
Having not won the event since 2012, Team BC enters a strong roster which features two Rockets draft picks in goaltender Roman Basran, and defenseman Jayden Lee.
Never having won the tournament, Saskatchewan looks to change that. Kelowna Rockets first-rounder Kaedan Korczak (Yorkton, SK) star’s on a sound blue line.
The four-time champion Albertans will boast another star-studded roster that includes 10 first round selections from the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. The roster includes the top three picks from last May’s draft in Okotoks, Alberta.
After finishing as runners-up one year ago, Team Manitoba will look for their first title in 2016. Kelowna Rockets third round pick Dallon Wilton will add to a talented roster.
The tournament will be a four-team round robin format and is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for players.
Wednesday, October 19th
3:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Team Manitoba @ Team British Columbia
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. – Team Saskatchewan @ Team Alberta
Thursday, October 20th
3:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Team British Columbia @ Team Saskatchewan
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. – Team Alberta @ Team Manitoba
Friday, October 21st
3:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Team Saskatchewan @ Team Manitoba
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. – Team British Columbia @ Team Alberta
Saturday, October 22nd
1:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Semi-Final (2nd vs. 3rd)
Sunday, October 23rd
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Bronze Medal Game (Semi-Final runner-up vs. 4th)
1:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Gold Medal Game (1st vs. Semi-Final winner)
Team Alberta is the reigning champ as well as a four-time champion of the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, capturing the title in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015, while Team British Columbia won the only other title in 2012. The event was not held in 2010 or 2014 due to the Canada Winter Games.
Current Rockets/Rockets prospects that competed last year in the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup are: Konrad Belcourt – Team Alberta, and Liam Kindree – Team B.C.
Kelowna Rockets forward Nick Merkley is one of a few players that has played in the tournament (2012) and has been drafted into the NHL.
Early bird tournament passes featuring all nine games are now on sale until October 16th at a discounted rate of $30 per pass ($10 savings). After the 16th, tickets can be purchased online or at the event.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016