This is what we do know:
- The Rockets have 20 returning players from last years team including 20 year-old's Kevin Smith, Adam Brown and Cody Chikie. Tyson Barrie and Mitchell Callahan are technically on the roster but are expected to play pro hockey this season.
- When I say 20 veteran players, that could technically be reduced to 17 considering rookies Jesse Lees, Madison Bowey and Jason Siebert, despite seeing some playing time last season, will again be considered first year players this season.
- Sixteen year-old Jason Siebert played in just 16 games last season. I've been told that appearing in 20 or more regular season games no longer has you designated as a first year player. Siebert broke his wrist November 22nd against Spokane and never returned.
- Siebert, Lees and Bowey are the only players returning that have failed to score a WHL goal.
- With seven defenceman returning (Lees and Bowey apply here), it appears all seven are safe at making the roster. What is scary is four of the seven d-men have a year or less experience. MacKenzie Johnston, Madison Bowey, Jesse Lees and Damon Severson fall into that category.
- You win because of the strength of your older players and the Rockets have just three 19 year-old returning forwards. Brett Bulmer had 18 goals last season while Spencer Main and Max Adolph combined for just 13 goals between them.
- The strength of this team offensively is clearly in the 18 year-old players, or those born in 1993. Shane McColgan, Zach Franko, Colton Sissons and Jesse Astles make up this group. Those four players combined for 90 goals and 166 points.
- It doesn't take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that the strength is in goal. Adam Brown's return means the Rockets have arguably the best 20 year-old goaltender, if not the best goaltender in the Western Conference if not the league. Jordon Cooke is a solid insurance policy.