The Kelowna Rockets made a second trade this morning at the 2019 Bantam Draft, acquiring defenceman Jake Lee, forward Dillon Hamaliuk and goaltender Cole Schwebius from the Seattle Thunderbirds. In return, the Thunderbirds receive the Rockets 10th overall pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft that was acquired earlier this morning from the Brandon Wheat Kings, the Rockets 2nd round pick in 2021 and first-round pick in the 2022 WHL Bantam Draft and Conner Bruggen-Cate.
“This trade will have a big impact on our team,” said Rockets President/General Manager, Bruce Hamilton. “Lee is a strong defenceman, he always has an influence when he is on the ice. He is a top prospect that will hear his name called alongside fellow Rockets defencemen Kaedan Korczak and Lassi Thomson at the NHL draft.”
“Hamaliuk is another top player, he was having a great start to the season before an injury ended it. Schwebius is a Kelowna product, he will give us the insurance that we need in net moving forward.”
Lee, a 2001 born Sherwood Park, AB native was originally drafted by the Seattle 18th overall at the 2016 Bantam Draft. In 135 regular season games with the Thunderbirds the 6’2, 216-pound defenceman has 34 points (7G, 27A). This past season he posted a career-best 24 points (3G, 21A) in 67 games.
He played with Korczak and Thomson on Team Orr at the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects game this past January. The NHL’s Central Scouting Service has ranked Lee 146th among North American skaters for the upcoming NHL Draft this June in Vancouver.
Hamaliuk (6’3, 193 pounds) was drafted by the Thunderbirds 111th overall in the 6th round of the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. The Leduc, AB product has 66 points (27G, 39A) in 120 regular season games with Seattle. He had 26 points (11G, 15A) in 31 games this past season before it came to an end due to injury.
The 2000 born forward suited up for Team WHL at the CIBC Canada Russia Series this past November. He was invited to play at the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects game, but missed the game because of his injury.
He was rated as ‘B’ prospected on Central Scouting’s November Players To Watch List, which indicated he was projected to be drafted in the second/third round at the upcoming NHL Draft. After suffering his season-ending injury he was listed as a limited viewing prospect on the midterm rankings.
Schwebius was the T-Birds 216th pick in the 10th round of the 2016 Bantam Draft. This past season the 5’11, 171-pound goaltender appeared in 17 games posting a 5-8-2-0 record with a 3.89 goals against average (GAA) and an .886 save percentage (SV%).
Lee and Hamaliuk were both members of the 2017 WHL Champion Seattle Thunderbirds.