Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation announced on Wednesday the 2018 Induction Class for the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (AHHF), featuring strong representation from Western Hockey League Alumni.
Being inducted individually are WHL Alumni Mike Vernon, Grant Fuhr, and Wally Kozak while the 1999 Canada Winter Games gold medal team were inducted as a team.
Vernon, a product of Calgary, Alta., played with the Calgary Wranglers and Portland Winterhawks during his WHL career, twice winning the Four Broncos Trophy as the WHL Player of the Year and the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy in the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons. He was also a part of the Portland Winterhawks run to the 1983 Memorial Cup championship before going onto a lengthy NHL career that included Stanley Cups with the Calgary Flames and Detroit Red Wings.
Fuhr is the second individual inductee to the class with WHL experience. With the Victoria Cougars, he won the Jim Piggot Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Rookie of the Year in the 1979-80 season and the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy in the 1980-81 campaign. A product of Spruce Grove, Alta., Fuhr was drafted by and played for the Edmonton Oilers, winning five Stanley Cups with the team and earning an induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
From the coaching side of the game, Wally Kozak was also listed as one of the inductees to this year’s class. A former head coach with the Calgary Wranglers, Kozak’s coaching career has influenced the sport of hockey on a global stage, from serving as the Head Scout/ Manager of coach and player development, Hockey Canada, National Women’s Program between 2003-07 to serving as a mentor with the Japan Ice Hockey Federation, 1995-98, in preparation for the Nagano Olympics.
Last, but not least, Hockey Alberta has selected the 1999 Canada Winter Games gold medal team. The team featured 18 future WHL players, including: Dan Blackburn (Kootenay ICE), Ben Knopp (Moose Jaw Warriors/Kamloops Blazers), Jared Aulin (Kamloops Blazers), Scott Hartnell (Prince Albert Raiders), Jay Bouwmeester (Medicine Hat Tigers), Brennan Evans (Seattle Thunderbirds/Kootenay ICE), Nathan Smith (Swift Current Broncos), Colin Sinclair (Kootenay ICE), Richard Hamula (Kootenay ICE), Jeremy Farr (Spokane Chiefs), Blake Robson (Portland Winterhawks/Prince George Cougars), Adrian Foster (Saskatoon Blades/Brandon Wheat Kings), Ben Ondrus (Swift Current Broncos), Dave Selthun (Kelowna Rockets/Vancouver Giants/Lethbridge Hurricanes), Ben Kilgour (Tri-City Americans), Mitch Virostek (Brandon Wheat Kings), Shane Bendera (Red Deer Rebels/Kelowna Rockets), Brett Thurston (Brandon Wheat Kings).
We invite you to celebrate the legacy of these Alberta hockey legends on Sunday, July 22 at the Coast Hotel in Canmore. For ticket information, click here.