Photo: Marissa Baecker
Normally, Western Hockey League players are in the first shots of a brand new season in early October.
But, as we know too well, this is not a normal year.
Instead of practicing line rushes and forward control strategies, the junior players hope to hear their name called out over the next 48 hours in the NHL Draft.
The draft has been pushed back to tomorrow and Wednesday with the NHL season pushed into the fall due to COVID-19.
Kelowna Rockets forward Pavel Novak expects to be one of those players lucky enough to get the call from an NHL team.
The Czech product is ranked 85th in the final NHL central screening ranking of North American skaters.
Considering the European players who are supposed to be in the draft, Novak is likely to be taken somewhere between the third and fifth rounds.
Named the team’s rookie of the year in the WHO’s shortened season, Novak racked up 58 points, including 25 goals in his rookie campaign. He led the team in points, goals and winning goals and was tied for the club’s lead with eight power play goals.
Novak is expected to be the only Rocket to be selected in the two-day draft.
Last year, the Rockets led the CHL with four selected players including Lassi Thomson, (19th Ottawa) and Nolan Foote (27th, Tampa) participating in the first round.