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.