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Jackson DeSouza pens farewell note to Rockets fans after trade

Late last week, the Kelowna Rockets dealt their longest-serving player to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Jackson DeSouza requested the trade after finding himself as a healthy scratch for several games.

<who>Photo Credit: Rockets</who>Jackson DeSouza stands with a kid during the national anthem of an undated game.

GM Bruce Hamilton made good on the request, shipping DeSouza to Brandon with overage defenceman Kayden Sadhra-Kang coming back to Kelowna in return.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Rockets shared a letter from DeSouza, which the team’s former number 27 penned to the organization and fans as a thank you for five great years.

“I want to take this time to thank all Rockets fans for their incredible support over the last five years,” he said. “I loved playing in front of you each and every night. I will always remember the cheers and the playing of Rocket Man.”

The 20-year-old said he enjoyed meeting fans after games, at team events and social gatherings, but there was one community initiative that was dearest to his heart.

“One of the most rewarding parts of this experience has been getting to meet and play floor hockey with the kids at Kelowna’s school,” noted DeSouza.

He took the time to sincerely thank the Hamilton family and Lorne Frey for taking a shot on him in the 2018 draft, other members of the organization and his billet families as well.

<who>Photo Credit: Kelowna Rockets</who>Jackson Gillepsie and Jackson DeSouza (R) show off their questionable pumpkin carving skills earlier this fall.

DeSouza was sure to mention his teammates as well, saying it’s been a “heck of a ride” and the boys he’s played with over his time in Kelowna are all brothers to him.

“I began my junior hockey career in Kelowna. Now, Kelowna is home,” he added. “I always wore the Ogopogo with pride and will always be proud to have been a member of the Kelowna Rockets.”

DeSouza was drafted 84th overall in 2018 by Kelowna and appeared in 151 career games for the Rockets before last week’s trade.

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