The Okanagan Rockets received the final piece of information it needed to finalize the club's roster in advance of the BCMML season opener on September 20th.
Today, the Rockets learned that defenceman was returned to the Rockets by the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL.
De Melo, a 16 year old defenceman played in 79 games last season for the POE Elite 15 squad. In those games, De Melo notched 16 goals, and 23 assists.
"The return of Sam De Melo is huge news for this hockey club" said Rockets general manager David Michaud. "I've been racking up the cell phone bill checking in with Salmon Arm to see where they were with Sam since their camp opened. I know Sam was disappointed not cracking their roster right now, but he should be very proud of the work he put in to get as long of a look as he did. Sam will be a huge part of what I feel will be the strongest defensive unit we have ever put together."
To make room for the return of De Melo, 15 year old defenceman Spencer Hora was returned to the Kelowna Minor Hockey Tier 1 Midget program. "Much like Sam was disappointed to get the news from Salmon Arm, I'm sure Spencer was equally disappointed, but he too should be tremendously proud of the camp he had with us. There is little doubt that Spencer will have a big role with us next season, but even more than that, he will be counted on this season in an AP role. Sometimes the numbers game in hockey isn't very fun for the younger players."
De Melo and the Rockets open defence of the BCMML Championship on Saturday September 20th when they play host to the Vancouver NE Chiefs at the Capital News Centre.