Rockets Add Forward, Release D-man as WHL Trade Deadline Passes


Kevin Parnell

The Kelowna Rockets added some veteran grit to its lineup at the Western Hockey League trade deadline on Tuesday.

The Rockets acquired 20-year-old forward Brett Lyon from the Moose Jaw Warriors in exchange for two WHL bantam draft picks, sending a 5th round pick in 2014 and a 7th round pick in 2013 to the Warriors in exchange for Lyon.

To make room for Lyon, the Rockets released veteran blueliner Kevin Smith.

Lyon, a 20-year-old native of Grand Forks, BC, is in his fourth WHL season and had 28 points and 95 penalty minutes in 41 games played this year. He was also a plus-nine.

“We are happy to acquire Brett,” said Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton. “We’re glad to have another older guy that can play. He’s having a pretty good year and we’re excited to see him in the line-up.”

Lyon, who will fly to Portland to meet the Rockets and his new teammates for Wednesday’s game against the Winterhawks, said he was surprised by the deal.

“I was a little shocked when I heard,” admitted Lyon. “I wasn’t really expecting it but I know it’s part of the business. I’m looking forward to it. I know Kelowna has a good team and I think it will be a good place to play.”

Lyon is no stranger to Kelowna, having spent one season at the Kelowna based Pursuit of Excellence during his minor hockey years. After playing as a 16-year-old in Fernie in Junior B, Lyon joined the Kamloops Blazers in 2008-09. He also spent parts of two seasons in Vancouver before joining the Warriors last year.

At 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, Lyon will bring a big body to the table.

“I like to play a tough game with a lot of grinding in the corners and help out offensively when I can,” he said.