Arshdeep Bains becomes first player of South Asian descent to win Bob Clarke Trophy as WHL Scoring Champion

Red Deer Rebels forward Arshdeep Bains is the Western Hockey League’s Scoring Champion for the 2021-22 WHL Regular Season.

Bains, a 21-year-old product of Surrey, B.C., was a driving force all season long for the upstart Rebels, recording a career-high 43 goals and 69 assists, to finish atop the WHL scoring charts with 112 points in 68 games.

The Vancouver Canucks prospect hit the scoresheet in 55 of 68 games this season, leading the Rebels to a second-place finish in the WHL’s Central Division on the strength of a record of 45-19-2-2 (94 points).

Bains finished the campaign riding an impressive 14-game point scoring streak, tallying 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points, dating from March 5 through April 16. In total, Bains wrapped up the 2021-22 season with 35 multi-point performances in 68 games, including a season-high five points (3G-2A) in a 6-1 win at Saskatoon back on February 5.

Including his aforementioned three goals on February 5, Bains recorded two hat tricks on the season, with the other coming October 15 in an 8-1 victory at Calgary.

Aside from leading the WHL in points this season, Bains finished first in assists (69), third in power-play assists (30), second in game-winning goals (10), and tied for first in first goals (10).

In addition to being the first player of South Asian descent to lead the WHL in scoring, Bains is only the second Red Deer Rebel to ever finish atop the WHL’s Regular Season scoring charts. Back in 2000-01, forward Justin Mapletoft etched his name on the Bob Clarke Trophy following an impressive season that included 120 points (43G-77A) in 70 games.

The 6-foot-1, 184-pound Bains will graduate from the WHL following the conclusion of the season. Undrafted into the WHL, Bains signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement during the 2017-18 season and went on to appear in 257 career WHL Regular Season contests, amassing 209 points (77G-132A) along the way.

Bains’ breakout season caught the attention of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks earlier this season. After being passed over in the NHL Draft, Bains captured the intrigue of the Canucks and signed an entry-level contract with the Club on March 11, 2022.

Bains and the Red Deer Rebels are now set to open the 2022 WHL Playoffs on Friday, April 22, when they welcome the Brandon Wheat Kings to the Peavey Mart Centrium for Game 1 of their best-of-seven, first-round series.

The Bob Clarke Trophy, awarded annually to the WHL’s Top Scorer, is named after the WHL and NHL legend known to many as one of the toughest and most skilled to ever play the game. Clarke played two seasons in the WHL and captured the WHL scoring title in both those campaigns. The 1967-68 WHL season saw Clarke collect an astounding 168 points (51G-117A) in 59 appearances. During the 1968-69 season, Clarke registered 137 points (51G-86A) in only 58 games as he helped his hometown Flin Flon Bombers claim the 1969 WHL Championship.

From there, the product of Flin Flon, Man., went on to play 15 NHL seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, including captaining the Club to two Stanley Cup Championships. He was awarded the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP on three occasions and was named an NHL All-Star four times. Clarke was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987.

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