(Contributed)

(Contributed)

Kelowna Rockets’ Novak to miss start of season due to oncological diagnosis

The 20-year old signed his rookie contract with Minnesota last month

The Kelowna Rockets will be without key forward Pavel Novak to start the 2022-23 season.

Novak released a statement on the team’s Twitter account announcing he has been diagnosed with an oncological disease, meaning a form of cancer. The 20-year-old said in the statement that he will be undergoing treatment soon.

Because of the treatment, he has to stop his hockey training for the time being.

“The coming months will not be easy for me but I firmly believe that everything will turn out well,” said Novak.

Novak had a career year for the Rockets last season as he finished second on the team in scoring with 72 points (29 goals, 43 assists) in 62 games.

He was named a WHL second-team all star after the season.

In 2020, he was drafted in the fifth round (146 overall) of the NHL entry draft by the Minnesota Wild. On May 9, 2022, he signed his rookie contract with the team.

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