Kalder Varga signs WHL Scholarship and Development Agreement with Rockets

Kelowna, B.C. – The Kelowna Rockets announced Wednesday they have signed 2023 U.S. Priority Draft first-round pick Kalder Varga to a WHL Scholarship and Development Agreement.

Varga, who hails from Geneva, Ill., was selected seventh overall in the 2023 U.S. Priority Draft May 10.

“It’s an absolute honour to sign with a first-class organization like the Kelowna Rockets,” said Varga. “I can’t wait to begin working hard both on and off of the ice to become a Rocket. I look forward to visiting Kelowna this summer and calling it home in the near future.

“I’d like to thank the Hamilton family and scouting staff for believing in me. I can’t wait to contribute to the team’s success.”

Varga, 15, spent the 2022-23 season with the Chicago Mission Bantam 14U AAA team that were runners up at the Tier 1 National Championships this past March.

He will represent the Central District and Illinois at the United States National Camp in Rochester, New York this upcoming July.

Kalder is the son of former Tacoma Rocket John Varga, who spent four seasons with the club between 1991 and 1995. He appeared in 254 regular season games, all with the Rockets, recording 333 points (154G-179A).

His grandfather, Lou Varga, was the trainer for the Chicago Blackhawks for 39 years before his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

Kalder will attend Kelowna’s camp in August, but won’t be eligible to join the Rockets lineup until the 2024-25 season.


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