The Kelowna Rockets continue to make moves to bolster their roster this WHL offseason, acquiring Tij Iginla in a blockbuster trade.
Iginla, the son of NHL Hall-of-Famer and Lake Country resident Jarome Iginla, has spent his entire WHL career with the Seattle Thunderbirds, the 2023 league champs. He had 18 points in 48 games as a 16-year-old.
In return, the Rockets gave up a 2024 first round pick, a 2027 second rounder, and forward Grady Lenton.
“We’re excited to have the chance to acquire a player like Tij,” said Rockets President and GM Bruce Hamilton. “He has a full season in the Western Hockey League as a 16-year-old under his belt. We gave up a lot in first, third and fifth round picks to get him, but we think he will be one of the top players on our team.”
Hamilton added that Iginla has great hockey sense, and is a skilled shooter.
“He’s exactly who we’re looking for in the makeup of our team in trying to get faster. With the personnel that we have, he adds to the group of elite players that can play in our top six.”
The move is just the latest in a whirlwind of an offseason for the Rockets, who have made up for not having a first round pick in this summer’s draft. They signed brothers Hiroki and Kanjyu Gojsic, the older Hiroki a former Victoria Royal and the younger Kanjyu a third round pick in this year’s draft, to contracts on May 31.
Less than one month ago, the Rockets sent veteran forward Turner McMillian to the Red Deer Rebels for a third round pick.