The Kelowna Rockets have announced that 2019 National Hockey League Draft prospect Alex Swetlikoff has signed a Western Hockey League (WHL) Standard Player Agreement, adding another talented forward to the core of the B.C. Division team for the future.
Swetlikoff, a 6-foot-2, 179-pound product of Kelowna, B.C. will join the Rockets after the team added another highly-touted prospect in Trevor Wong in late October 2018. The 17-year-old Swetlikoff is eligible to join the Rockets immediately and play in the remaining 33 games of the Rockets’ 2018-19 WHL Regular Season schedule, as well as playoffs. The Rockets presently sit second in the B.C. Division with a 16-17-2-0 record.
“We’re very excited to have him join the Rockets,” said President and General Manager, Bruce Hamilton. “I know it’s always difficult to leave another team. However, I think that Alex understands that if he wants to get to the next level the best move for him is to come to the WHL to achieve those goals. We’re looking forward to helping him become a better player and get him in a position to be drafted this June.”
Originally selected in the third round, 62nd overall, by the Seattle Thunderbirds at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, Swetlikoff’s rights were traded to the Lethbridge Hurricanes and then dealt to his hometown Rockets earlier this month. A product of the Yale Hockey Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, Swetlikoff won a CSSHL Bantam Championship in the 2015-16 season, playing on a team with other WHL players including Josh Williams, Rhett Rhinehart, Gage Goncalves, Holden Kodak, Jackson Van de Leest, and Alex Cotton.
“I’m super excited to join the Rockets,” said Swetlikoff. “I grew up watching them play, its a privilege to join the organization. I can’t wait to hit the ice with them.”
The following season, Swetlikoff continued playing with the YHA Lions, suiting up alongside other 2019 NHL Draft prospects, including Dylan Cozens, Bowen Byram, Williams. Roman Basran served as a goaltender on that team as well, with Tuesday’s announcement reuniting the two players.
He also recently suited up for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alta., helping the team take home bronze. It was his second time representing Canada, he played for Canada White at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Swetlikoff was rated as a ‘C’ prospect by NHL Central Scouting on their ‘Players to Watch’ list in November.
Swetlikoff had been playing with the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), where he’s posted 20 points (8G-12A) in 27 games this season. Overall, he’s appeared in 78 BCHL regular season games, posting 35 points (11G-24A).
The Rockets are back in action Friday, December 28 (7:00 p.m. PT), wrapping up a five-game road trip at the Sandman Centre against the Kamloops Blazers.