Kelowna Rockets

Nine Former Rockets To Compete For Canada West Title

February 28, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Kelowna Rockets News Release

Adam Kydd of the Kelowna Rockets
Adam Kydd of the Kelowna Rockets
(Kelowna Rockets, Credit: Steve Dunsmoor)

A total of nine former Rockets will battle it out on both sides for the Canada West Men's Hockey Championship when the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds take on the University of Calgary Dinos.

Liam Kindree, Jake Kryski, Jake Lee, Connor McDonald, Jonathan Smart and Cole Schwebius will suit up for UBC, while Jadon Joseph, Adam Kydd and Jake Poole will look to defend the Dinos title from last season. A total of 46 former WHL players are playing between both squads.

Individually, Lee was named to the 2023-24 CW Men's Hockey First Team All-Stars, while goaltender Schwebius 2023-24 CW Men's Hockey Second Team All-Stars. In his first season with Calgary, Poole was named to the 2023-24 CW Men's Hockey All-Rookie Team.

The top-ranked University of British Columbia Thunderbirds will try to make history this weekend as the team hosts the Canada West Men's Hockey Championship for the first time in program history.

UBC's men's squad hasn't won since picking up its only titles in 1963 and 1971, while the visiting University of Calgary Dinos look to repeat as Canada West Champions and clinch the tenth banner in school history and first back-to-back titles since winning in 1995 and 1996.

With a first-place finish in the 2023-24 regular season, UBC earned a bye to the second round of playoffs, dispatching the University of Alberta Golden Bears in three games (1-4, 4-2, 4-0) to earn a spot in the final.

U of C, which finished second through the regular season slate, also got to rest until round two, where they swept the rival Mount Royal University Cougars 4-2 and 4-3 (OT).

UBC standout and former Thunderbird and American Sam Huo earned CW Player of the Week honours with a five-point weekend to power his team to the finals.

A total of 46 former WHL players will be on the ice in hopes of lifting the trophy and punching their ticket to the 2024 U SPORTS University Cup at Toronto's Mattamy Athletic Centre from March 14-17.

University of British Columbia Thunderbirds

F- Scott Atkinson (Edmonton Oil Kings 'C')

F- Chris Douglas (Red Deer Rebels 'A')

F- Logan Doust (Saskatoon Blades, Victoria Royals, Moose Jaw Warriors 'A')

F- James Form (Kootenay Ice, Winnipeg Ice, Spokane Chiefs)

F- Sam Huo (Seattle Thunderbirds, Tri-City Americans)

F- Liam Kindree (Kelowna Rockets, Lethbridge Hurricanes)

F- Jake Kryski (Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Calgary Hitmen)

F- Cyle McNabb (Vancouver Giants, Kootenay Ice, Saskatoon Blades, Medicine Hat Tigers)

F- Carson Miller (Prince Albert Raiders, Victoria Royals)

F- Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans)

F- Ty Thorpe (Brandon Wheat Kings, Victoria Royals 'A')

F- Josh Williams (Medicine Hat Tigers, Edmonton Oil Kings)

F- Jake Wright (Everett Silvertips, Calgary Hitmen 'A')

D- Jonny Lambos (Brandon Wheat Kings, Everett Silvertips)

D- Jake Lee (Seattle Thunderbirds, Kelowna Rockets)

D- Connor McDonald (Kamloops Blazers, Edmonton Oil Kings 'A', Kelowna Rockets)

D- Ryan Pouliot (Red Deer Rebels, Kootenay Ice, Swift Current Broncos)

D- Jonathan Smart (Kelowna Rockets, Regina Pats, Kootenay Ice)

D- Matthew Smith (Victoria Royals)

G- Kaeden Lane (Medicine Hat Tigers)

G- Dorrin Luding (Everett Silvertips, Saskatoon Blades, Seattle Thunderbirds)

G- Cole Schwebius (Seattle Thunderbirds, Kelowna Rockets)

University of Calgary Dinos

F- Arjun Atwal (Saskatoon Blades)

F- Jake Gricius (Portland Winterhawks)

F- Connor Gutenberg (Brandon Wheat Kings 'C')

F- Jadon Joseph (Lethbridge Hurricanes, Regina Pats, Vancouver Giants, Moose Jaw Warriors, Kelowna Rockets, Tri-City Americans)

F- Adam Kydd (Calgary Hitmen, Kelowna Rockets 'A')

F- Brendan Lee (Everett Silvertips, Saskatoon Blades, Medicine Hat Tigers)

F- Carter Massier (Regina Pats, Prince Albert Raiders)

F- Dallon Melin (Red Deer Rebels, Medicine Hat Tigers 'A')

F- Max Patterson (Kootenay Ice, Swift Current Broncos, Everett Silvertips 'A', Seattle Thunderbirds)

F- Jake Poole (Kelowna Rockets, Victoria Royals)

F- Riley Stotts (Swift Current Broncos, Calgary Hitmen 'A')

F- Tyson Upper (Prince George Cougars)

F- Jaeger White (Lethbridge Hurricanes, Everett Silvertips, Brandon Wheat Kings, Medicine Hat Tigers, Kootenay Ice)

D- Dylan Anderson (Everett Silvertips, Vancouver Giants)

D- Brendan De Jong (Portland Winterhawks 'A')

D- Connor Horning (Swift Current Broncos, Vancouver Giants)

D- Noah King (Swift Current Broncos, Spokane Chiefs)

D- Dakota Krebs (Tri-City Americans, Calgary Hitmen 'A')

D- Sean Strange (Kamloops Blazers)

D- Aidan Sutter (Everett Silvertips 'A')

D- Zach Wytinck (Brandon Wheat Kings 'A', Regina Pats)

G- Connor Martin (Victoria Royals, Seattle Thunderbirds, Vancouver Giants)

G- Carl Stankowski (Seattle Thunderbirds, Calgary Hitmen, Winnipeg Ice)

G- Carl Tetachuk (Lethbridge Hurricanes, Moose Jaw Warriors)

Seven players competing in the final were also named to Canada West All-Star and All-Rookie teams:

2023-24 CW Men's Hockey First Team All-Stars

D- Jake Lee- UBC Thunderbirds (Seattle Thunderbirds, Kelowna Rockets)

F- Sam Huo- UBC Thunderbirds (Seattle Thunderbirds, Tri-City Americans)

2023-24 CW Men's Hockey Second Team All-Stars

G- Cole Schwebius- UBC Thunderbirds (Seattle Thunderbirds, Kelowna Rockets)

D- Noah King- Calgary Dinos (Swift Current Broncos, Spokane Chiefs)

F- Sasha Mutala- UBC Thunderbirds (Tri-City Americans)

2023-24 CW Men's Hockey All-Rookie Team

F- Jake Poole- Calgary Dinos (Kelowna Rockets, Victoria Royals)

F- Ty Thorpe- UBC Thunderbirds (Brandon Wheat Kings, Vancouver Giants)

The puck drops on Game One of the Canada West Final on Friday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m. PST, with Games Two and Three (if necessary) being held at the same time on Saturday on Sunday.

Images from this story

Adam Kydd of the Kelowna Rockets
Adam Kydd of the Kelowna Rockets

(Steve Dunsmoor)

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