Throughout the month of August, we’re celebrating the class of WHL Graduates from the 2021-22 season. Join us as we go Club by Club in recognizing the achievements of the 20-year-old players from this past season moving on to access their WHL Scholarship or to professional hockey.
We continue our 22-part series with the Kamloops Blazers and their graduating trio of Viktor Persson, Quinn Schmiemann and Luke Toporowski.
The Swedish blueliner spent only one season in the WHL, joining the Blazers for the 2021-22 campaign after being selected by Kamloops in the first round of the 2020 CHL Import Draft.
Persson, who was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2020 NHL Draft, appeared in 65 regular season contests for the Blazers, totalling 29 points (4G-25A), recording two assists in his WHL debut October 9, 2021 versus Prince George and scoring in his fourth WHL contest six days later at Kelowna.
Persson appeared in 17 post-season games for Kamloops this spring, totalling four assists and a +9 rating.
Schmiemann was a reliable contributor on the Kamloops Blazers blueline for four full seasons, after being selected by the Club in the third round of the 2016 WHL Draft.
The product of Wilcox, Sask. made his WHL debut in September of 2017, recording his first points in a two-assist effort October 3, 2018 versus the Portland Winterhawks. The first of his three multi-goal games over his 202 WHL regular season contests came just over two months later at Kootenay.
He was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Draft after collecting 28 points over his rookie WHL campaign.
Schmiemann averaged 0.67 points per game over his WHL career; as a 20-year-old co-captain, he led Kamloops’ high-octane offence in blueline scoring with 14 goals and 54 points, adding 18 points (2G-16A) during the Blazers’ 2022 playoff run.
He was named to the B.C. Division Second All-Star Team this past spring.
Schmiemann will make the jump to professional hockey this fall after signing with the Abbotsford Canucks of the American Hockey League.
Originally selected eighth-overall by the Spokane Chiefs in the 2016 WHL Draft, Toporowski spent the bulk of his WHL career in the home of Bloomsday before being dealt to the Kamloops Blazers at the 2022 WHL Trade Deadline.
The product of Bettendorf, Iowa spent five seasons, and a total of 282 regular season and playoff games in the WHL, scoring 20 or more goals on three occasions beginning with a 21-goal, 49-point campaign for the Chiefs in 2018-19.
Toporowski chipped in with six more tallies during the 2019 WHL Playoffs as Spokane reached the Western Conference Championship.
He added 29 goals and 60 points in 2019-20, then scored 15 times in his first 27 games of 2021-22 before the move to Kamloops in January. In 22 games as a Blazer, Toporowski scored 20 times, including his first WHL hat-trick February 26 versus the Kelowna Rockets.
Like Schmiemann, Toporowski was named to the B.C. Division Second All-Star Team.
Toporowski concluded his WHL tenure by finishin second to Logan Stankoven in playoff scoring for Kamloops during the 2022 post-season, recording 23 points in 16 games.
He’s off to the AHL this fall, after signing with the Providence Bruins.