When the puck drops on the 2014-2015 season, Nolan Kneen will instantly place his mark on the record books of the Okanagan Rockets.
Kneen, who was selected 3rd overall by the WHL's Kamloops Blazers in this springs Bantam Draft, will become the highest WHL draft pick to ever suit up for the Okanagan Rockets.
Kneen will take the record from Tyson Jost (7th overall, EVT 2013) and Kyle Beach (10th overall, EVT 2005).
Nolan Kneen spent the 2013-2014 season with the North Shore Winter Club and helped the Winterhawks to gold at the Western Canadian Bantam Championships held right here in Kelowna this past spring.
Kneen delivered the championship goal in overtime, something his former coach Jim Dinwoodie says is a trait that people can expect to see more of. "When the games are big, Nolan just gets better and better."
That is a trait the will suit the Rockets just fine.
"We know what type of player we are getting with Nolan Kneen." said general manager David Michaud. "In all likelihood, Nolan will be with us one season before moving on to the Western Hockey League with Kamloops. Preparing him for life in the WHL will be our number one job this season, and hopefully along the way we can give him a few more big games to play in."
Kneen posted 20 goals and 60 points on defence this past season for NSWC and will be counted on to help shoulder the blow of losing so many offensive weapons from last season. "We think Nolan will be a big part of our defences ability to help produce offence from the back end. He sees the ice so well and has a real knack for creating opportunities for both himself, and his teammates."
Kneen, currently in camp with the Blazers will return in early September to get things started with the Rockets and the BCMML season.