Langley’s Rocket lands at LEC Friday

A left winger who played all of his minor hockey in Langley returns with the Kelowna Rockets to play the Vancouver Giants.

Conner Bruggen-Cate is coming home.

The Kelowna Rockets rookie left winger is set to play in his hometown Friday, Sept. 18, when the Rockets meet the Vancouver Giants in a Western Hockey League pre-season contest at the Langley Events Centre.

Bruggen-Cate, 16, who played all his minor hockey with the Langley Minor Hockey Association from initiation to second-year bantam, is looking to make an impression with the Rockets after being drafted by Kelowna in the sixth round of the 2014 WHL bantam draft.

“It’s a big transition,” Bruggen-Cate told the Langley Advance Sunday afternoon, the day after he and the Rockets edged the Kamloops Blazers 4-3 in pre-season action. “It’s a lot faster.”

In his final year of bantam in 2013/14, Bruggen-Cate scored 31 times and added 47 assists to go along with 80 penalty minutes in 72 games.

Last season, with Yale Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League’s Prep Division, he found the net three times along with five assists in 19 games.

So far in the WHL pre-season, Bruggen-Cate picked up a primary assist in the Rockets’ 3-2 win over the Prince George Cougars on Sept. 5, and will be looking to record his second WHL point Friday versus the Giants.

Helping him make the step to major junior is “lots of training and support” from his Yale Hockey Academy instructer Brad Bowen.

Now, Bruggen-Cate is adjusting the rigours of the fast and competitive league nicknamed “The Dub.”

“Mainly, you have to be mentally prepared,” Bruggen-Cate said. “I have to keep my head up and keep my feet moving, and don’t get down on myself.”

With three pre-season games under his belt going into Friday’s contest, Bruggen-Cate, who describes himself as a “playmaking power forward,” has embraced the challenge.

And he knows there’s lots of room for development.

“I have to get faster,” said Bruggen-Cate, who hopes to build upon his 6’1” 185-pound frame. “I’d like to get bigger in the weight room.”

Playing in the greatest professional league in the world is a dream of Bruggen-Cate’s.

“Like every kid, I’d like to get drafted into the NHL,” he said. “I’d love to play there, eventually.”

For the here and now, Bruggen-Cate wants to play well in front of friends and family in Langley.

“You’re always nervous,” he said. “I just hope everything goes well.”

Game time at the LEC on Friday is 7 p.m.

FINAL BUZZER: Friday’s game is part of home-and-home weekend series between the Rockets and Giants. The teams meet again Saturday in Kelowna.

 

Just Posted

Cloverdale nurse, Langley truck driver awarded for saving a police officer’s life

Angela Feltrin and Earl Hanes thanked by B.C. RCMP’s top cop

Annual Aldergrove Fair announces 2019 theme: ‘Aldy on the Moon’

The fair is gathering space memorabilia as well as some of the people involved in the space program.

Aldergrove’s Fraser Highway to unveil another Starbucks

A commercial building on Fraser Highway will open its doors to two businesses instead of one.

Former Surrey mayor Bill Vogel dead at age 87

Vogel was Surrey’s 31st mayor, in the big chair from 1978 to 1980, and was alderman from 1973 to 1977

Langley woman’s caregivers pen unflinching book about her struggles

The authors and the woman they care for will be at an Abbotsford book signing on Saturday, Feb. 16.

VIDEO: How much snow do you have?

Langley residents are being asked to share images of their snow to enter for a $20 coffee card.

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Police track armed kidnapping across Thompson-Okanagan

RCMP allege it was a targeted crime believed to be linked to the drug trade

St. Paul’s Hospital replacement slated to open in Vancouver in 2026

Announced many times, but this time there’s money, Adrian Dix says

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt

Sinkholes throughout the subdivision have prompted the District of Sechelt to issue evacuation orders

Most Read