Four Rockets Take Off In NHL Draft

Sep 16, 2009 - 18:51 GMT

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r The Kelowna Rockets are pleased to announce that 18 year old Luke Schenn has been drafted fifth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2008 NHL entry draft and 18 year old Tyler Myers hase been drafted 12th overall by the Buffalo Sabres.  In addition, Jake Gardiner who is on the Rockets protected list was selected by the Anaheim Ducks with the 17th overall pick.

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r Schenn becomes the highest Rocket even chosen in the first round of the NHL draft and Toronto’s highest draft pick since 1989.  Kyle McLaren was chosen ninth overall by Boston in 1995.  Schenn was part of four defensemen selected in the first five draft picks.

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r The Maple Leafs made a trade with the New York Islanders to get Schenn.  Toronto gave up their seventh pick at this year’s draft plus an Islanders option of the 60th pick this year and a third round pick in 2009, or the 68th pick this year and a second round selection in 2009.

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r “I’m so excited to be part of this,” said Schenn minutes after being selected.  “I’m going to try to compete and earn a spot and to be part of the puzzle to turn things around.”

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r Ranked as North America`s fifth best skater for the NHL draft, Luke`s biggest strength is his strength. At 6-2 and a solid 216 pounds, Luke likes to pattern his game after a pair of offensively gifted bruising blueliners in Dion Phaneuf and Chris Pronger. 
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r Luke was Kelowna’s #1 pick in the 2004 WHL Bantam Draft.  He made his WHL debut on September 23, 2005 against the Vancouver Giants.  However it was October 11, 2005 that really made Luke smile, as he scored his first WHL goal in front of friends and family in Saskatoon against his hometown Blades.
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r In three seasons with the Rockets Luke has compiled 12 regular season goals and 68 points to go along with two playoff goals.
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r Luke has a quite the resume since becoming a Kelowna Rocket:
r Selected fifth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2008 NHL entry draft.
r Gold Medal at the 2008 World Junior Championships and led the team with a Plus 5.
r Captain at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January.
r Gold Medal at the Under 18 Junior World Cup.
r Kelowna Rockets Assistant Captain for two seasons
r Last summer, he was part of a Canadian Junior Team that didn’t lose a game to Russia in the Canada/Russia Super Series.
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r Depending on the decision by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Luke will be relied upon to provide leadership on and off the ice during next season as a Rocket.  Luke should also get some consideration to be named as the team’s seventeenth Captain for the 2008-2009 season.
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r LUKE SCHENN     POSITION
- Defence
r HOMETOWN - Saskatoon, SK (November 2 1989)
r HEIGHT - 6’3        WEIGHT - 209

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r As for Myers he becomes the third highest Rocket even chosen in the first round of the NHL draft.  Schenn was selected fifth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier today and Kyle McLaren was chosen ninth overall by Boston in 1995.

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r The Buffalo Sabres made a trade with the Los Angeles Kings just prior to selecting Myers.  The Kings gave up the Rockets defenseman for the 13th overall pick and a third round selection in 2009.
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r Myers was the Rockets #1 pick in the 2005 WHL Bantam Draft out of Calgary, Alberta.tylers-myers-buffalo-sabres.jpg 
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r He made his much anticipated WHL debut on February 26, 2006 in Seattle, before returning to Prospera Place to play in front of the hometown crowd who was in awe of the lengthy 16 year old.
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r Myers’s first WHL goal was a playoff goal.  Game Four of the Western Conference Quarter Final versus the Kootenay Ice on March 29, 2006.
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r Thanks to his tremendous reach and poke checking ability, he is very difficult to beat on the rush.  Myers also possesses great skating ability and has a C.C.S ranking of fourth among draft-eligible skaters.  His offensive upside has started to show, compiling 19 points this past regular season.
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r This past season Myers helped Canada’s Under-18 team win a Gold medal at the 2008 World U-18 Championship in Kazan, Russia, in April. 
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r He also participated in the 2008 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects game in January in Edmonton, AB. 
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r In 2007 Myers was the Team Captain for Team Alberta at the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, YK.  That season he also played for Team USA at the Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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r Myers grew up in Houston, TX, and lived there until he was 10 years old when his family moved to Alberta.  Should he be chosen in the opening round of the 2008 NHL draft, Myers becomes the first Texan to be selected in the first round of an NHL draft.   
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r TYLER MYERS            POSITION – Defence
r HOMETOWN – DeWinton, AB (February 1 1990)
r HEIGHT – 6’7               WEIGHT – 210

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r Photos of Schenn and Myers courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL

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r Rockets second year forward Brandon McMillan was also selected this weekend.  He was chosen by the Anaheim Ducks in the third round, 85th overall.

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r “A great passer”, “a fast skater”, “calm in the offensive zone.” That’s just a few of the statements to describe McMillan.

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r brandon-mcmillan.jpgAs a rookie two seasons ago McMillan showed flashes of     brilliance in limited action.  He played only 55 games in a  Rockets uniform and tallied two goals and twelve points. 

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r Despite being 16 year’s old, McMillan found himself on the Rockets power play two years ago which taught him many    lessons for this past season.

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r In 2006-2007 McMillan continued to toke many great strides to becoming an elite player in the Western Hockey League.  He helped Canada’s Under-18 team win a Gold medal at the 2008 World U-18 Championship in Kazan, Russia, in April.  He also     participated in the 2008 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects game in January in Edmonton, AB. 
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r While with the Rockets, McMillan saw his ice time increase on the power play and was key on the Rockets penalty kill unit.

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r One of the best assets for McMillan is his ability to be calm bringing the puck out of his own zone.  He has a knack for making a good “first” pass to set the Rockets up for an offensive strike.

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r His speed is second to none as Head Coach Ryan Huska says, “Brandon would be considered one of our fastest skaters on our roster.”

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r With the style of game changing to more of a game of quickness, McMillan fits the mold perfectly and should be part of the Rockets organization for many years to come.

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r As for last season's leading scorer Colin Long, one could say his draft selection was the most appropriate on the weekend.  Growing up in California Long would cheer on the LA Kings and watched Wayne Gretzky glide across the frozen pond.  A few short years later, Long was selected in the fourth round 99th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes...coached by Gretzky!

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r In his second full season as a Rocket, Long was named one of three Assistant Captains.colin-long-up-close-launch-pad.jpg

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r Long was the Rockets 11th round pick in the 2004 WHL Bantam Draft and made his debut September 23, 2005 versus the Vancouver Giants.

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r Unfortunately for Long and the Rockets, he played only 20 games in his rookie season due to a case of mono.

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r In 2006-2007 the Santa Ana, California native played in his “official” rookie season and tallied 11 goals and 28 points. 

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r The coaching staff had high hopes for Long this past season and he delivered. Centering the Rockets #1 line, Long battled for the Western Hockey League scoring title with Mark Santorelli of the Chilliwack Bruins all year. Santorelli eventually nipped Long by a single point to win the race.  However with his 100 points, Long became the first Rocket since Jesse Schultz in 2002-2003 to hit the century mark.

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r Long was rewarded for his outstanding season being named Team MVP at the Annual Rockets Awards Banquet.

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r Head Coach Ryan Huska says, “Colin was the most improved returning player when it comes to conditioning and fitness.  He worked very hard over the summer to make sure he was in shape for last season and it paid off.”

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