The Kelowna Rockets are proud to announce the team has won one team award and one individual award at the 2015 WHL Awards Ceremony, held in Calgary on Wednesday.
Rockets forward Rourke Chartier was named the WHL Most Sportsmanlike player while the Rockets organization won the Business/Marketing award.
In his third WHL campaign, Chartier put together an exceptional offensive season, scoring 48 goals and 82 points in 58 games to finish 14th in WHL scoring while at the same time taking just nine minor penalties for 18 total penalty minutes.
“This is a huge honour,” said Chartier in accepting the award. “I guess I’m just lucky to play on a great team with a lot of great players. I’ve been given a lot of opportunity and that’s been huge.”
The 19-year-old from Saskatoon, SK has amassed just 34 penalty minutes in 188 career regular-season games. Chartier was the Rockets first-round pick, 15th overall, in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. Chartier was selected in the fifth-round, 149th overall, by the San Jose Sharks in the 2014 NHL Draft.
“Rourke is very deserving of this award,” said Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton. “He has had a great year and we are very proud of his efforts.”
Meanwhile the Rockets organization was awarded the WHL Business/Marketing award for its community based marketing campaign and fundraising efforts.
The Rockets boosted their game day attendance with aggressive group and flex pack sales campaigns and introduced a new marketing campaign entitled “Welcome To Rocketland” that focused on making the community as part of the team.
“We’re very proud of this award,” said Rockets marketing director Anne-Marie Hamilton, who accepted the award. “This is great recognition for our whole staff, the many volunteers, the rink crew and everyone that helps bring it all together. We have great support from the community, from our fans, the groups we work with and all of our generous sponsors, both at the local and league level.”
The Club worked with many organizations including the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society and Kelowna Fire Department to raise money in the community. The Rockets also worked with the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association for their 50-50 initiative that will donate over $250,000 to KMHA. The Kelowna Rockets Alumni Foundation has also helped raise in excess of $300,000 over the last 13 years for the Kelowna General Hospital.
“I’m very happy for our entire marketing and office staff,” said Bruce Hamilton. “It takes everyone chipping in to win this kind of award.”
Other Rockets up for WHL awards as Western Conference nominees but who did not win the WHL award were defenceman Joe Gatenby as scholastic player, Dan Lambert as coach of the year and Hamilton as the executive of the year.