Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today that Chase Wouters (Saskatoon Blades/Lloydminster, Alta.) has been named the Eastern Conference Scholastic Player of the Year and Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs/Lloydminster, Alta.) has been named the Western Conference Scholastic Player of the Year. Each has also been nominated for the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year.
The Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy will be presented at the 2018 WHL Awards on Wednesday, May 2, in Red Deer, Alta. It is awarded annually to the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year and recognizes a player who has demonstrated academic excellence while competing in the WHL.
In 1996, the Scholastic Player of the Year Trophy was named in honour of Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman, a pioneer in promoting higher education and hockey as well as a leading supporter of the WHL’s education and scholarship programs.
Eastern Conference – Chase Wouters (Saskatoon Blades)
In his second full season in the WHL, Wouters played in all 72 games, recording 51 points (18G-33A), setting career highs in goals, assists, and points. The 18-year-old forward has also scored top marks in the classroom, attaining honours student status throughout all three years of high school, maintaining an 89-per-cent average in Grade 10, a 90-per-cent average in Grade 11, and an 89-per-cent average in Grade 12.
An alternate captain for the Blades, Wouters excelled in core courses, posting a 94-per-cent grade in Math Foundations 20, a 92 per cent in Math Pre-Calc 30, a 90 per cent in Chemistry 30, an 87-per-cent in History 30: Canadian Studies, and an 83-per-cent in English Language Arts A30.
Wouters has also been recognized as the Scholastic Player, Hardest Worker, and Defensive Forward of the Year by the Blades during the 2017-18 season. This year marks the second straight season Wouters has been recognized as the Blades Hardest Working Player. The 6-foot-0, 177-pound forward is currently ranked 103rd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in their midterm rankings ahead of the 2018 NHL Draft. He was also recently named to Hockey Canada’s training camp roster for the 2018 IIHF U-18 World Championship.
“In addition to his strong performance on the ice and his excellent performance in the classroom, Chase is truly an amazing young man in the way he shows respect to all who come in contact with him,” Blades’ Education Advisor Kim Hebert said. “He is mature beyond his years and will have a very bright future ahead of him regardless of the direction he chooses.”
Wouters was originally selected by the Blades in the first round, 19th overall, of the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
Western Conference – Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs)
Playing in his second full season with the Chiefs, Smith recorded 73 points (14G-59A) in 69 games, finishing second among all WHL defencemen in scoring during the 2017-18 WHL regular season. Making the move from Lloydminster, Alta. to Spokane, Wash. for the 2016-17 school year, Smith has maintained a 3.57 GPA during his studies south of the border. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound defenceman scored top marks throughout his time in high school, posting a 98 per cent in Computer Applications B, a 95 per cent in Anatomy and Physiology A and a 91 per cent in Physics – Year 1A.
He also registered an 88 per cent in Pre-Calculus A and an 87 per cent in English 11A while also earning an 84 per cent in Bridge to College English 12A and 83 per cent in AP Statistics A.
In his first season with the Chiefs, Smith was named the team’s Rookie of the Year and Scholastic Player of the Year. This year, he was named the team’s top defenceman and earned a second consecutive Scholastic Player of the Year Award.
Smith is currently ranked 14th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in their midterm rankings ahead of the 2018 NHL Draft. He was also recently named to Hockey Canada’s training camp roster for the 2018 IIHF U-18 World Championship.
“Ty truly epitomizes what it means to be a learner,” said Chiefs Education Advisor Joe Everson. “He is curious, diligent, willing to persevere, and talented. He is also a natural leader by example in the classroom. Despite the time commitment athletics demand of him, Ty manages to balance his workload and maintain a very positive attitude, all while outperforming many of his peers.
“His leadership centers on quietly modeling and contributing to the group in any setting.”
Smith was originally selected by the Chiefs with the first overall pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.