The Kelowna Rockets had two special guests stop by the rink on Wednesday afternoon to reconnect with old teammates, coaches, and staff.
Former Rockets forwards Kole Lind and Reid Gardiner stopped by Prospera Place on Wednesday afternoon to say hi and catch up with old friends before they head to Penticton for the 2018 Young Stars Classic. Both players will be playing for the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars team as Lind was a 33rd overall selection by the Canucks in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and signed his first contract with the club in March, and Gardiner signed a one-year AHL contract with the Utica Comets, the Canucks AHL affiliate in July.
Both players enjoyed their visit to the Rockets dressing room and are looking forward to playing in the Okanagan once again this weekend.
“It’s always nice to be back in Kelowna, even though I was only here for a short period of time. It’s a lot of fun being back and seeing the guys that I played with during my time here and being able to say hi to my old friends,” said Gardiner. “Now I’m just getting ready for camp to start tomorrow. I’ve been looking forward to this tournament for quite some time. It’s with a new organization for me and I’m excited to get the chance to prove my worth and I’ve just been excited and ready for hockey to begin again for a while now.”
Lind echoed his teammate Gardiner with the excitement to be back in Kelowna as well as back on the ice after the offseason.
“It’s great to be back and it brings back a lot of old memories seeing the guys. I created some strong bonds with all of these guys in here so it’s awesome to be around the rink and to come into the city for a free day before we get going in Penticton,” Lind said. “Just like Reid said, I’m looking to show my worth and try to stick around as long as I can. I’m going to go out there and try to produce chances and produce points but it’s still early in the year so there will be a lot to work on. I’m just going to go out there and try to be as perfect as I can.”
Lind, Gardiner, and the Canucks Young Stars take the ice in Penticton for their first tournament game on Friday, September 7th at 7:30pm when they take on the Winnipeg Jets Young Stars.