Rockets make blockbuster trade with T-Birds

The Kelowna Rockets were busy at the WHL bantam draft today - making trades.

It included a blockbuster with the Seattle Thunderbirds.

The team acquired 19 year-old Dillon Hamaliuk, 18 year-old Jake Lee and 18 year-old goaltender Cole Schwebius.

In return, the Rockets gave up two-first round WHL bantam picks, a second rounder and about to be 20 year-old forward Connor Bruggen-Cate.

GM Bruce Hamilton says the trade became a reality on Monday.

"I wanted to get something done here that would have an impact. These guys are not 20 year-old's. These guys will be with us for a while. We could have Hamaliuk for two years and we will have Lee for two more years. Our team sets up pretty good for not only this year but after that."   

The most interesting player in the trade was Schwebius, who was born in Kelowna and played his midget hockey with the Okanagan Rockets. Why would the team need to add another goaltender with Roman Basran and James Porter returning?  

"A little insurance in goal never hurts. Our young guy probably isn't ready for primetime yet. I just wanted more competiiton and make sure one of three....we need them to play," Hamilton added.      

In a separate deal, the team acquired the rights to 19 year-old defenceman Sean Comrie from the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Comrie played this past season at the University of Denver and will leave NCAA hockey to join the Rockets for training camp.

"We will probably still look around. We have room for an overage for sure. We may need to add one more defenceman, I don't know yet, if we want to add an older guy later on".