Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today that Swift Current Broncos forward Aleksi Heponiemi has been named the WHL On the Run Player of the Week for the week ending April 22, 2018.
Heponiemi, who was selected by the Florida Panthers in the second round, 40th overall, of the 2017 NHL Draft, recorded six points (2G-4A) and a plus-six rating as the as the Broncos advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time since 2001 and moved up 2-0 in the series against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
In Monday’s Game Seven against the Moose Jaw Warriors, Heponiemi recorded a pair of primary assists in his team’s 6-0 win to advance to the conference championship. Heponiemi’s assists came on Swift Current’s second and fifth goals in the game.
In the series-opening game against the Hurricanes Friday, Heponiemi tallied the game-winning goal and an assist for multi-point effort in a 3-2 victory. Heponiemi collected a primary assist on Swift Current’s second goal, then scored the decisive goal in the third period against Hurricanes’ goaltender Logan Flodell. For his efforts, Heponiemi earned first star honours in the game and second star honours for the night across the WHL.
In the second game of the series Saturday, Heponiemi contributed another goal and an assist in his team’s 4-3 overtime victory. Heponiemi once again scored in the third period, serving as the game-tying goal before the Broncos won in overtime. Heponiemi also collected an assist on Swift Current’s first goal of the game. He was named the second star of the game.
Selected by the Broncos in the first round, 10th overall, of the 2016 CHL Import Draft, Heponiemi has appeared in all 16 games for the Broncos during the 2018 WHL Playoffs, tallying 22 points (2G-20A), including one power-play goal and one game-winning goal. He leads all players in the WHL Playoffs with 20 assists. Heponiemi has appeared in 30 career WHL Playoffs games, recording 30 points (2G-28A).
The 5-foot-10, 141-pound product of Tampere, Finland has also appeared in 129 WHL regular season games, all with the Broncos, recording 204 points (56A-148A), including 18 power-play goals and 12 game-winning goals. Heponiemi finished the 2017-18 WHL regular season third in scoring with 118 points (28G-90A) in 57 games. Heponiemi led the league in assists.
In the 2016-17 season, Heponiemi has named the recipient of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Rookie of the Year. This season, he was named to the Eastern Conference First All-Star Team.
Skinner and the Broncos will be looking to take a 3-0 series advantage against the Hurricanes Tuesday, April 24 (7:00 p.m. MT) when the Eastern Conference Championship shifts to the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, Alta. for Game Three of the best-of-seven series.
WHL On the Run Player of the Week
Apr. 16 – Apr. 22: Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos
Apr. 9 – Apr. 15: Jake Bean, Tri-City Americans
Apr. 2 – Apr. 8: Michael Rasmussen, Tri-City Americans
Mar. 26 – Apr. 1: Brayden Burke, Moose Jaw Warriors
Mar. 19 – Mar. 25: Brad Morrison, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Mar. 12 – Mar. 18: Dillon Dube, Kelowna Rockets
Mar. 5 – Mar. 11: Jayden Halbgewachs, Moose Jaw Warriors
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4: Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks
Feb. 19 – Feb. 25: Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs
Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Jordy Bellerive, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Tyler Soy, Victoria Royals
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Ty Ronning, Vancouver Giants
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Matt Fonteyne, Everett Silvertips
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Matteo Gennaro, Swift Current Broncos
Dec. 27 – Dec. 31: Braylon Shmyr, Saskatoon Blades
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Nolan Volcan, Seattle Thunderbirds
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Stelio Mattheos, Brandon Wheat Kings
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Calen Addison, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Jayden Halbgewachs, Moose Jaw Warriors
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Jermaine Loewen, Kamloops Blazers
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Brett Howden, Moose Jaw Warriors
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Tyler Steenbergen, Swift Current Broncos
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Tyler Soy, Victoria Royals
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Kale Clague, Brandon Wheat Kings
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Tyler Steenbergen, Swift Current Broncos
Sept. 22 – Sept. 24: Kole Lind, Kelowna Rockets
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.