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The Kelowna Rockets are pleased to announce the team has signed 2011 first round bantam draft pick Rourke Chartier to a Western Hockey League contract.
The Rockets selected Chartier with the 15th overall pick in 2011 and then watched as the now 16-year-old tied for the overall scoring league with the Saskatoon Contacts last season, scoring 73 points (34 goals, 39 assists) in 58 games played. That included 13 points in 13 playoff games when he helped the Contacts to the Telus Cup midget hockey championship.
Chartier arrived in Kelowna on Friday in preparation for the Rockets main training camp which begins Monday with fitness testing.
He says signing the player contract was the final step in getting ready to hit the ice.
"I'm glad to get that out of the way and now it comes time to playing," said Chartier. "I'm just going to play my game, work my hardest and prove to them that I belong here."
Rockets director of player personnel Lorne Frey, who interestingly coached Chartier's dad when he was a junior A player, says the Rockets are excited to see what Chartier brings to the table after he had a solid season of midget AAA hockey in Saskatchewan.
"We're happy we have him here and we're hoping he can learn and develop and grow into a very exciting hockey player that will be an assett for us for years to come," said Frey.
Chartier says he is more comfortable coming to Kelowna for his second camp. He spent time in Kelowna in the summer and is now ready for the challenge that Rockets main training camp will bring.
"They're are a lot bigger guys, full grown men," he said. "I will try to play my game and hopefully all the off ice training I did in the summer helps. I feel stronger and I think I've improved a lot from last season."
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