Heffley happy to be with one of the WHL’s model franchises
Colton Heffley’s return home couldn’t have gone much better. The Swift Current native scored a goal, dropped the gloves for a second-period fight, and, most importantly, his Kelowna Rockets won their seventh straight game in a 4-2 win over the Swift Current Broncos Tuesday to open a grueling road trip.
“It felt really good,” said Heffley after the Rockets’ win to open their six-game East Division road swing. “It was a fast game and a fun game.
“We got two points so it doesn’t get much better than that.”
He dropped the mitts in the second period against Broncos’ defenseman Brett Lernout for a spirited tilt.
“Yeah I have a lot of friends and family here and they all wanted to see a fight so I thought I would try and start something up,” explained Heffley.
“They are a good team,” said Heffley after facing his hometown Broncos. “They are physical and their D-men are good. They played a tight defensive game and it is a great team and they pushed us hard.”
Heffley has 12 points, 39 penalty minutes, and a plus-four rating in 31 games in his fourth Western Hockey League season.
“I am kind of the shutdown guy here, PK guy mostly,” said the 6’3’’, 206pound forward. “Every once in a while I get to go on the powerplay, but I like my role. It helps the boys win, so whatever helps take the win.”
He is now a veteran of 203 regular season games and 25 playoff games in the WHL.
“For sure I am a lot more mature player,” he said after his 199th regular season game in a Rockets jersey. “I have become a lot more responsible in the Dzone for sure, and just going to the net more and being a more aggressive player.”
The Rockets have only three regulation loss in their first 32 games this season and have allowed a league low 80 goals. They don’t have a player in the top 25 in league scoring but feature eight players with 23 or more points.
“We roll four lines and six D. Everyone has got skill on this team and we don’t have to rely on one guy and put the pressure on him so that for sure helps us out a lot.”
Heffley, 19, has been a Rocket since the franchise drafted him in the second round, 39th overall, in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.
“It is an awesome organization. I have everything good to say about it and nothing bad to say about it. It is a great organization, Bruce [Hamilton] is a great GM and owner and it just goes from him at the top and all the way down it is just great.”
The Rockets currently lead the WHL with a 27-30-2 record and the veteran team has ambitious goals after getting out to an incredible start.
“The ultimate goal is always to win the Memorial Cup, so hopefully we can get there. We are just going to take it one game at a time and hopefully get there,” Heffley explained. Swift Current’s Colton Heffley (right) made a successful return home with the Kelowna Rockets December 10 when he scored a goal and dropped the gloves during a 4-2 win over the Broncos.