Okanagan Rockets player Parker Bowles has spent the majority of his off season working out and getting ready for what he hopes is the next phase of his hockey career.
After moving to Kelowna last summer, Bowles starred for the Rockets major midget hockey team last season, leading the team in scoring with 35 goals and 36 assists in 40 games played.
That led the Western Hockey League’s Tri City Americans to add Bowles to its protected list. He played a pair of games with the Americans and plans to stick in the WHL this season.
“I definitely want to play there,” said Bowles. “When I played those games it was really fast. It’s a lot faster game with bigger players. I’ve been working out hard to get stronger and get conditioned for training camp.”
While Bowles continues to get ready for the Americans training camp, which will take place later in the month, this week he will watch as more than 100 youngsters hit the ice in Kelowna for the Okanagan Rockets training camp.
The 5-foot-10 forward credits the BCMML for helping him develop as a player.
“It’s a good league,” he said. “It got me ready for moving on. We were on the ice pretty much everyday and I got lots of opportunities to play on the power play and the penalty kill.”
The Rockets 2012-13 training camp began with registration on Thursday night and continues through the weekend. With 115 kids registered through B.C. Hockey it will be one of the largest camps in the league history and an increase from two years ago when 70 players registered for the Rockets camp.
“I think that shows where we are at,” said Rockets manager David Michaud. “We’re encouraging players to come to camp and see what our program is all about.”
The Rockets draw players from a regional area stretching from Osoyoos to Vernon. It means the best players in many small towns have the opportunity to play high level hockey if they are good enough. But that also means the team must work with minor hockey organizations in those towns and cities.
“It’s important for us to have a great relationship with minor hockey associations,” said Michaud. “We want them to realize we’re not here to take their best player we’re here to help their best players achieve success.”
There is more information about the Okanagan Rockets on the web at www.okanaganrockets.com.