Kelowna Rockets Are 2015 WHL Champions

Kelowna Rockets Win 2015 WHL Championship

The Western Hockey League Playoffs have been very exciting this year.  There were a number of exceptional teams vying for WHL supremacy with teams like the Brandon Wheat Kings, Calagry Hitmen, Kelowna Rockets and Portland Winterhawks again having strong seasons.  However it was the Kelowna Rockets claiming the Ed Chynoweth Cup on Wednesday night to become the 49th WHL Champions after earning a 3-0 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings.  The Rockets swept the Wheaties in four straight games.  The win marks the fourth time in franchise history that Kelowna has won the WHL Championship Series with the most recent being 2009 (2003, 2005, 2009, 2015).

The Brandon Wheat Kings should hold their heads up high as they had a tremendous season.  The loss ended a remarkable campaign for the Wheat Kings, who led all teams in the WHL with 114 points — two more than the Rockets — in the 2014-2015 regular season. The Wheat Kings have a lot of talented players returning next season, so they might be next year’s Kelowna Rockets.  Post series report on Brandon can be found here at the Brandon Sun.

Kelowna Rockets LogoRockets centerman Leon Draisaitl  was named WHL Playoff Most Valuable Player.  Draisaitl, an Edmonton Oilers prospect, was named the 2015 WHL Playoffs MVP after he finished tied for the post-season scoring lead with 28 points (10g-18a) in 19 WHL Playoff games.  Combining the regular season where Drat put up 19 goals and 53 points in just 32 regular season games, he finished with 81 points in 51 games as a Kelowna Rocket.  As an Edmonton Oilers fan, this is pretty exciting.  Full disclosure, as I have season tickets to the Rockets games here in Kelowna and watched Leon Draisaitl on many nights.  This kid is the real deal and has potential to be one the the greatest German born players in the NHL.  He makes passes like nobody’s business.  Dare I say some of them are very Gretzky-like?  Unreal ability to see the ice this kid has.  He is great on taking draws in faceoffs and is a big player.  Although it was a nice team effort throughout the playoffs, much credit deserves to go to young Draisaitl.  A great move by GM Bruce Hamilton to acquire him from the Prince Albert Raiders in January after Draisaitl  spent the first half of the season in Edmonton with the Oilers.  I love the energy of this kid.  He’s going to be a great player and should have a great Memorial Cup.

2015 WHL Champion Kelowna RocketsPhoto Credit:  Marissa Baecker

Kelowna will head to Quebec City next week for the start of the Memorial Cup May 22nd to 31st.  The Rockets will face the host Quebec on opening night, Friday May 22. Thy take on the Quebec league champion Monday the 25th and the Ontario champ Tuesday May 26th.  Our prediction?  With all due respect to the Quebec Ramparts, Rimouski Oceanic, Oshawa Generals and Erie Otters we feel that the WHL Champs will take home the Memorial Cup this year.

Here is a list of past Memorial Cup Winners

50 Years of Memorial Cup Champions

Year Champion Score Runner-up Additional participants
1965 Niagara Falls Flyers 4–1 Edmonton Oil Kings
1966 Edmonton Oil Kings 4–2 Oshawa Generals
1967 Toronto Marlboros 4–1 Port Arthur Marrs
1968 Niagara Falls Flyers 4–1 Estevan Bruins
1969 Montreal Junior Canadiens 4–0 Regina Pats
1970 Montreal Junior Canadiens 4–0 Weyburn Red Wings
1971 Quebec Remparts 2–0 Edmonton Oil Kings
1972 Cornwall Royals (QMJHL) 2–1 Peterborough Petes (OHA) Edmonton Oil Kings (WCHL)
1973 Toronto Marlboros (OHA) 9–1 Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) Medicine Hat Tigers (WCHL)
1974 Regina Pats (WCHL) 7–4 Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
1975 Toronto Marlboros (OHA) 7–3 New Westminster Bruins (WCHL) Sherbrooke Castors (QMJHL)
1976 Hamilton Fincups (OHA) 5–2 New Westminster Bruins (WCHL) Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
1977 New Westminster Bruins (WCHL) 6–5 Ottawa 67’s (OHA) Sherbrooke Castors (QMJHL)
1978 New Westminster Bruins (WHL) 7–4 Peterborough Petes (OHA) Trois-Rivières Draveurs (QMJHL)
1979 Peterborough Petes (OHA) 2–1 (OT) Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) Trois-Rivières Draveurs (QMJHL)
1980 Cornwall Royals (QMJHL) 3–2 (OT) Peterborough Petes (OHA) Regina Pats (WHL)
1981 Cornwall Royals (QMJHL) 5–2 Kitchener Rangers (OHL) Victoria Cougars (WHL)
1982 Kitchener Rangers (OHL) 7–4 Sherbrooke Castors (QMJHL) Portland Winter Hawks (WHL)
1983 Portland Winter Hawks (WHL) 8–3 Oshawa Generals (OHL) Lethbridge Broncos (WHL), Verdun Juniors (QMJHL)
1984 Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 7–2 Kitchener Rangers (OHL) Laval Voisins (QMJHL), Kamloops Jr. Oilers (WHL)
1985 Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) 6–1 Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL), Verdun Junior Canadiens (QMJHL)
1986 Guelph Platers (OHL) 6–2 Hull Olympiques (QMJHL) Kamloops Blazers (WHL), Portland Winter Hawks (WHL)
1987 Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) 6–2 Oshawa Generals (OHL) Longueuil Chevaliers (QMJHL)
1988 Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) 7–6 Windsor Spitfires (OHL) Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL), Hull Olympiques (QMJHL)
1989 Swift Current Broncos (WHL) 4–3 (OT) Saskatoon Blades (WHL) Laval Titan (QMJHL), Peterborough Petes (OHL)
1990 Oshawa Generals (OHL) 4–3 (OT) Kitchener Rangers (OHL) Laval Titan (QMJHL), Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
1991 Spokane Chiefs (WHL) 5–1 Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
1992 Kamloops Blazers (WHL) 5–4 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL), Verdun Collège Français (QMJHL)
1993 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)[e] 4–2 Peterborough Petes (OHL) Laval Titan (QMJHL), Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
1994 Kamloops Blazers (WHL) 5–3 Laval Titan (QMJHL) Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL), North Bay Centennials (OHL)
1995 Kamloops Blazers (WHL) 8–2 Detroit Junior Red Wings (OHL) Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), Hull Olympiques (QMJHL)
1996 Granby Prédateurs (QMJHL) 4–0 Peterborough Petes (OHL) Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), Guelph Storm (OHL)
1997 Hull Olympiques (QMJHL) 5–1 Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL), Oshawa Generals (OHL)
1998 Portland Winter Hawks (WHL) 4–3 (OT) Guelph Storm (OHL) Spokane Chiefs (WHL), Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)
1999 Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 7–6 (OT) Calgary Hitmen (WHL) Acadie–Bathurst Titan (QMJHL), Belleville Bulls (OHL)
2000 Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL) 6–2 Barrie Colts (OHL) Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL), Kootenay Ice (WHL)
2001 Red Deer Rebels (WHL) 6–5 (OT) Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL) Ottawa 67’s (OHL), Regina Pats (WHL)
2002 Kootenay Ice (WHL) 6–3 Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL) Erie Otters (OHL), Guelph Storm (OHL)
2003 Kitchener Rangers (OHL) 6–3 Hull Olympiques (QMJHL) Kelowna Rockets (WHL), Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
2004 Kelowna Rockets (WHL) 2–1 Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL) Guelph Storm (OHL), Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
2005 London Knights (OHL) 4–0 Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL) Kelowna Rockets (WHL), Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
2006 Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) 6–2 Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) Peterborough Petes (OHL), Vancouver Giants (WHL)
2007 Vancouver Giants (WHL) 3–1 Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) Lewiston Maineiacs (QMJHL), Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
2008 Spokane Chiefs (WHL) 4–1 Kitchener Rangers (OHL) Belleville Bulls (OHL), Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
2009 Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 4–1 Kelowna Rockets (WHL) Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL), Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL)
2010 Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 9–1 Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL), Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
2011 Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) 3–1 Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (OHL) Owen Sound Attack (OHL), Kootenay Ice (WHL)
2012 Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) 2–1 (OT) London Knights (OHL) Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL), Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
2013 Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) 6–4 Portland Winterhawks (WHL) London Knights (OHL), Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
2014 Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) 6–3 Guelph Storm (OHL) Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL), London Knights (OHL)
2015 TBD TBD Quebec Remparts, Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL),Kelowna Rockets (WHL)