WHL Announces 50th Season Award Winners
Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League held its annual WHL Awards ceremony earlier today in Calgary, AB to honour the top performances from the WHL’s 50th Season.
WHL Player of the Year – Four Broncos Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Dryden Hunt – Moose Jaw Warriors
Hunt, a product of Nelson, BC, enjoyed an outstanding season for the Moose Jaw Warriors, helping the team to a 36-27-7-2 record and a trip to the 2016 WHL Playoffs. The 20-year-old scored 58 goals to lead all WHL skaters and tallied 58 assists for 116 points to go along with a plus-12 rating in all 72 games. Hunt’s 116 points ranked second in WHL scoring and first amongst all Warriors players. Hunt recorded an impressive 36 multiple-point outings and six hat-tricks, including four hat-tricks from February 6, 2016 – February 15, 2016. He also recorded eight game-winning goals for the Warriors.
Recently signed as a free agent by the Florida Panthers, Hunt has played five seasons in the WHL and amassed 249 points (117g-132a) in 269 career games.
RUNNER UP: Joe Hicketts – Victoria Royals
WHL Rookie of the Year – Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Matthew Phillips – Victoria Royals
A product of Calgary, AB, Phillips made a significant impact in his first full season with the Royals. The 1998-born centre scored 37 goals and 39 assists for 76 points in 72 games, which was fourth in team scoring and first amongst all WHL rookies. His 16 power play markers also led all rookie skaters. Selected by the Royals in the second round, 33rd overall, of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Phillips also notched 10 game-winning goals during the 2015-16 season. Phillips is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft.
RUNNER UP: Noah Gregor – Moose Jaw Warriors
WHL Goaltender of the Year – Del Wilson Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Carter Hart – Everett Silvertips
Hart enjoyed a terrific season to help lead the WHL’s second-best defensive club this season, posting a 35-23-1-3 record with six shutouts in 63 appearances. The 17-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB finished second amongst WHL netminders with a 2.14 goals against average, finished with the sixth-best save percentage at .918 and placed first overall with 35 victories as the Silvertips finished second in the WHL’s U.S. Division. Hart’s consistent season saw him put together a string of five straight wins and back-to-back shutouts on two occasions while he was also named the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week in late November. Heading into the 2016 NHL Draft, Hart is ranked second amongst North American goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting.
RUNNER UP: Zach Sawchenko – Moose Jaw Warriors
WHL Defenceman of the Year – Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Ivan Provorov – Brandon Wheat Kings
In his second season in the WHL, Wheat Kings’ defenceman Ivan Provorov played a major role for Brandon at both ends of the ice. The 19-year-old from Yaroslavl, Russia finished first in scoring amongst WHL defencemen with 73 points, which included 21 goals, in 62 games while also leading the League with a plus-64 rating. A member of Russia’s National Junior Team that won silver at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, Provorov was the Wheat Kings’ first round pick, 30th overall, in the 2014 CHL Import Draft. Provorov was selected seventh overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2015 NHL Draft.
RUNNER UP: Joe Hicketts – Victoria Royals
WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year – Brad Hornung Trophy
WINNER: Tyler Soy – Victoria Royals
In his third WHL campaign, Tyler Soy had a breakthrough season for the Victoria Royals, netting 85 points (46g-39a) to finish 13th in WHL scoring. The 1997-born veteran from Cloverdale, BC made significant contributions in helping the Royals secure the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s top regular season team. Playing key minutes, Soy drew just 27 minutes in penalties and finished the regular season with a stellar plus-34 rating. So far in his three-year WHL career, Soy has attracted 71 penalty minutes in 213 career regular season games with the Royals. Soy was the Royals’ first round pick, eighth overall, in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft and is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft.
RUNNER UP: Jake Bean – Calgary Hitmen
WHL Scholastic Player of the Year – Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Tanner Kaspick – Brandon Wheat Kings
Kaspick had a productive season on a powerful Brandon team in 2015-16, notching 31 points (13g-18a) in just 53 games. The Brandonite completed his first semester of Grade 12 this year with a remarkable 96% average, and has since upped his average to 98% in the second semester. Kaspick currently holds a 100% grade in Chemistry 12. Ranked 76th amongst North American skaters by Central Scouting for the upcoming 2016 NHL Draft, Kaspick has completed three advanced placement courses and is described by his teachers as focused. The Wheat Kings selected Kaspick 25th overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
RUNNER UP: Tristen Pfeifer – Everett Silvertips
WHL Humanitarian of the Year – Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Tyler Wong – Lethbridge Hurricanes
Wong, the Eastern Conference Humanitarian of the Year for the second straight year, recently completed his fourth full season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Now the team’s captain, Wong has become an integral member of the community and was voted as the Hurricanes’ Fan Favourite Player for the fourth consecutive season last month. Prior to the start of this season, Wong created a program in which he vowed to donate $5.00 of his own money to charity for each goal he scored. After recruiting teammates Ryley Lindgren and Carter Folk to join him, other individuals and local businesses soon jumped on board to create the ‘Canes KidSport program that saw over $6,000.00 donated to KidSport this season. In addition, Wong spends an hour each Monday with a local atom hockey team as part of the Hurricanes’ Mentorship Program. On his own time, the 19-year-old spends an hour and a half every Thursday he is available at Dr. Probe Elementary where he volunteers as a teacher’s assistant in a grade five classroom mentoring students and helping them with reading, math and science.
RUNNER UP: Jerret Smith – Seattle Thunderbirds
WHL Coach of the Year – Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Dave Lowry – Victoria Royals
As head coach of the Victoria Royals, Dave Lowry helped lead the Club to the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as the League’s top Club in the 2015-16 regular season, posting an impressive 50-16-3-3 record for 106 points along the way. Lowry’s Royals wrapped up the regular season on a 14-game point streak and finished six points higher than any other team in the Western Conference. Under Lowry’s leadership, the Royals led the WHL in road victories with 24 and scored the third-most goals while allowing the fewest. Lowry claimed the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy following the 2013-14 season.
RUNNER UP: Brent Kisio – Lethbridge Hurricanes
WHL Executive of the Year – Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Peter Anholt – Lethbridge Hurricanes
Peter Anholt spearheaded a turnaround season as general manager of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2015-16. Anholt’s Hurricanes posted a 46-24-1-1 record for 94 points to finish first overall in the Central Division and qualify for the 2016 WHL Playoffs, ending a six-year absence. Under Anholt’s guidance, the Hurricanes improved their win total by 26 and their point total by 46 from the 2014-15 season while also reducing their goals against by 86. Anholt engineered several moves that aided the team’s success this season, including adding impact players such as Egor Babenko and Cory Millette to support a newly-defined core group.
RUNNER UP: Cameron Hope – Victoria Royals
WHL Marketing/Business Award
WINNER: Victoria Royals
In just five years, the Victoria Royals have stood out with their high number of business and marketing initiatives and enjoyed extensive growth throughout the 2015-16 WHL regular season. The Royals achieved a 300% increase in sold out games from last year to this season and enjoyed a 10% increase in corporate sponsorship sales. The Royals used several innovative promotions with ticket sales such as the Holiday Voucher Pack in which more than 4,000 tickets were sold to exceed expectations. Additionally, 3,000 more tickets were sold via the Friends and Family promotion where the Royals partnered with a local pizza place for tickets and slices. The Royals have enhanced and grown all of their existing local campaigns this year, including the successful Hat Trick for Literacy program in which the Royals form a partnership with local schools that includes player visits and ticket rewards for completed book reports. The Royals continue to actively work with dozens of groups including Special Olympics, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, United Way, BC Cancer Agency, Mustard Seed Food Bank, and several minor hockey associations on Vancouver Island. Furthermore, the Royals incorporated special annual fundraising games such as the Teddy Bear Toss and Pink in the Rink which resulted in more than $20,000 raised for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.
RUNNER UP: Brandon Wheat Kings
WHL Scholastic Team of the Year
WINNER: Spokane Chiefs
The Spokane Chiefs’ education program saw numerous academic achievements from its players during the 2015-16 season. The Chiefs ensured that student athletes fulfilled their academic requirements at both the high school and university level. This season, every Chiefs player in high school is completing an academic program which will result in a university-ready transcript. Of that group, three have been enrolled in college-level advanced placement courses. The nine players enrolled in high school recorded a collective average of 86% in 11th and 12th grade courses with two of those students completing their high school graduation requirements by the end of the first semester. The Chiefs’ post-secondary philosophy has always been to make Athabasca University courses available to every interested graduate, and a total of nine players were enrolled in 11 classes this year. The Chiefs have designed a model that addresses the scholastic ambitions of every player and recognizes real-world realities for young men at different stages in their academic, personal and social development.
WHL Top Official – Allen Paradice Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Chris Schlenker
Chris Schlenker is in his third season as a referee in the Western Hockey League. The 30-year-old from Medicine Hat, AB, is a police officer and is married with three children. Schlenker was a former player in the WHL, having played for the Regina Pats and Prince Albert Raiders from 2001-2005. Schlenker’s commitment to officiating has helped him develop all the skills necessary to be successful, including his composure, commitment and excellent judgement. Along with his WHL experience, Schlenker’s impressive officiating resume includes working as an official for the American Hockey League.
WHL Regular Season Champion – Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Victoria Royals
The Royals posted a 50-16-3-3 record for 106 points in 72 games this season, finishing first overall for the first time in franchise history. This also marked the Royals’ first Western Conference and BC Division titles. During the 2015-16 regular season, the Victoria Royals battled with the Kelowna Rockets for the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy and the Royals clinched the award after defeating the Kelowna Rockets 7-4 on March 16th, 2016. The Royals defeated the Everett Silvertips in both meetings on March 18th and March 19th to cap off a productive campaign. The Victoria Royals allowed the fewest goals against in the WHL with only 166 while scoring 281 goals, third-best amongst all WHL Clubs. Victoria was consistent as they posted 26 of their wins at home and the remaining 24 on the road.
WHL Top Scorer – Bob Clarke Trophy
WINNER: Adam Brooks – Regina Pats
A 19-year-old from Winnipeg, MB, Brooks scored 38 goals and 82 assists for 120 points in 72 games during the 2015-16 WHL regular season. His 82 assists led all WHL players while he also posted a plus-41 rating which was tied for eighth-best amongst all skaters. Brooks was named the WHL Player of the Week three times and the CHL Player of the Week on one occasion. He recorded 33 multiple-point games, 22 of which saw him register at least three points. Drafted by Regina 25th overall in the second round of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, Brooks has played four seasons for the Pats, amassing 76 goals while adding 129 assists for 205 points in 251 career games.