It’s that time of year again. The off-season comes to a close and hockey players return to the rinks. The Kelowna Rockets will be returning to the ice on Monday August 21st, as they begin their rookie camp.

Players drafted by the Rockets through the past couple of seasons get the chance to showcase their skills to coaches and management and try and earn a spot in main camp. Rookie camp runs August 21st – August 25th at Prospera Place.

Head Coach Jason Smith says rookie camp is all about impressions.

“Rookie camp is a good opportunity for our scouts and our organization to see our younger players and our draft picks from the last couple years come in and get an opportunity to make an impression,” said Smith. “The guys that are here for their first time get a chance to experience what the Western Hockey League is about, and what coming to a training camp and being evaluated and watched is about. They’re going to be looking to put in a performance that’s going to grow their game to have success.”

The Rockets main camp then runs from August 25th – August 31st. Team selection is done during main camp, and carries over into preseason.

Returning players need to impress coaches as well, despite already having played for the club.

“For the guys that have been here before it’s still about making an impression, but it’s also about showing how much growth they’ve made in their game throughout the past season or previous seasons,” Smith told.

Rookie camp runs August 21st-25th, main camp runs August 25th-31st. The Rockets take the ice for the first time in uniform this preseason on September 2nd, at Prospera Place when they host the Victoria Royals.