Rocket McKinlay scores contract in Utah

When Dylen McKinlay came to the Kelowna Rockets last season, he was an unknown commodity.

But together with fellow 20-year-olds Cody Fowlie and JT Barnett, McKinlay helped to stabilize a young Rockets team and had a solid final campaign in the WHL.

Now the Langley native has turned that into a contract with the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies.

Grizzlies head coach and GM Tim Branham announced that the team has agreed to terms with McKinlay for the 2013-2014 season.

McKinlay, 21, joins Utah for his rookie season after a season that saw him score 24 goals and 44 assists for 68 points in 72 games with the Rockets last year. He was fourth in the WHL with a plus-55. He was third on his team in scoring, led the Rockets in plus-minus and was tied for second in the league with six shorthanded goals. He was originally drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

“Dylen is a dynamic player,” said Branham. "He is great at both ends of the ice, and is dangerous on special teams.  I am looking forward to his transition as a pro player.”

The Grizzlies enter their ninth season in the ECHL and their 19th year in Utah in 2013-2014 after previously competing in the IHL and AHL from 1995-2005. They play at Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah which hosted Olympic Ice Hockey during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The Grizzlies open the regular season Friday, October 18 against Idaho at Maverik Center at 7:05 p.m.

The Rockets meanwhile open the WHL regular season Sept. 20 in Kamloops and Sept. 21 in Kelowna against the Blazers. Tickets are on sale at www.selectyourtickets.com


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