The son of Mike and Leanne Rookes has committed to play next season for the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. The Manitoba Junior Hockey League squad selected Rookes seventh overall in the 2020 MJHL Draft.
“There are many things that I’m looking forward to about junior hockey,” he said. “I will love being at the rink every day and getting to spend that time with the guys that junior hockey offers, especially in a place like Wayway where they have top-end facilities. Also, I will love the challenge of competing day in and day out trying to better myself and develop as the season goes on.”
Rooks said that the Wolverines are a great fit for him. He has attended camp and a few practices with the team.
“They have been nothing but the best to me since they drafted me, reaching out and to me often and making sure I have everything I need to succeed. More importantly, I feel that the community and team is very welcoming and I’m thrilled to be a part of such a great organization.
“On the hockey side of things, I feel that the team plays my style of hockey, which will allow me to fit in nicely. They are a very well coached by Taylor Harnett and Josh Lee, and a well-organized team that works extremely hard and that’s exactly what I’m looking for.”
A 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete, Rookes played both defence and forward last season for the U18 AAA Yellowhead Chiefs. He had 11 goals, 28 points, and 84 penalty minutes in 43 games. Head coach Thomas Heapy said Rookes is a big body that can play a physical game.
His family has been important in him earning an opportunity to play at the junior level. Of his parents, Rookes said:
“They have been a huge part of my hockey career, making sure that I have all the things necessary to move forward with my game. They provide support with everything I do, not only hockey but in everything. The countless trips to shoal lake will not go forgotten.”
Rookes’ older brother, Bray, suits up for the Wolverines’ MJHL foe the Virden Oil Capitals. The younger Rookes credited his brother “for giving me a heads up on what’s coming and what to expect.”