January 06, 2015 - 4:36 PM
KELOWNA – One of the gold medals awarded to Team Canada after winning at the World Junior Championship made an appearance at the Kelowna airport Tuesday.
The medal belongs to Kelowna Rockets general manager and owner Bruce Hamilton, who helped manage the national team for the last two years.
“My turn with Hockey Canada is up,” he said Tuesday. “Two years is enough. I think my family deserves some time back and so does our hockey team.”
Hamilton says he plans to focus his future efforts on the Kelowna Rockets and on securing a second Memorial Cup.
To that end, the Rockets announced Tuesday they had traded Kris Schmidli, Dalton Yorke and three future draft picks for 19-year-old forward Leon Draisaitl. Draisaitl, who has been playing for the Edmonton Oilers up until he was sent down, says the announcement came so quickly he hasn’t had time to process the news.
“I don’t know (my plans) yet,” he says. “It was during the last couple days the management decided they were going to send me down and let me work on my development a little more. I’m just really excited to… go to a winning team.”
From 2002 to 2009 the Kelowna Rockets competed in the Memorial Cup tournament four times, the most of any other CHL team in a seven year span.
Hamilton says the acquisition of Draisaitl will give them the depth they need to bring the cup to Kelowna once again.
“He’s an experienced player that has 30-some NHL games under his belt,” he says. “I think he will fit in real well.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015