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WHL names Division nominees for Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today the 2021-22 Division nominees for the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy presented by RE/MAX, awarded annually to the WHL Defenceman of the Year.

WHL Division Awards are voted upon by General Managers.

All individual WHL Division Award winners will be eligible for the overall WHL Awards, to be announced June 1, 2022.

WHL Defenceman of the Year Nominees
B.C. Division – Gannon Laroque (Edmonton, Alta.) – Victoria Royals
Central Division – Kaiden Guhle (Sherwood Park, Alta.) – Edmonton Oil Kings
East Division – Denton Mateychuk (Dominion City, Man.) – Moose Jaw Warriors
U.S. Division – Olen Zellweger (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) – Everett Silvertips

WHL Defenceman of the Year Nominee Biographies

Kaiden Guhle (Edmonton Oil Kings): Montreal Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle recorded 40 points (7G-33A) over a 42-game Regular Season split between the Prince Albert Raiders and Edmonton Oil Kings. The 20-year-old product of Sherwood Park, Alta. averaged a point per game during his 25 appearances with the Oil Kings, leading the Club’s blueline corps in that category. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound rearguard, who won a WHL Championship with the Raiders in 2019, has registered 100 points (22G-78A) in 181 regular season games with Prince Albert and Edmonton.

Gannon Laroque (Victoria Royals): San Jose Sharks prospect Gannon Laroque led the Victoria Royals in assists (42), finishing tops among Victoria defencemen and third in Club scoring with 52 points (10G-42A) during the 2021-22 Regular Season. The 18-year-old blueliner, who hails from Edmonton, Alta., had no stretches of more than three games over the course of the 2021-22 Regular Season in which he failed to find the scoresheet. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound rearguard has amassed 59 career points (11G-48A) in 87 regular season games with the Royals.

Denton Mateychuk (Moose Jaw Warriors): Rated #9 among North American Skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Season Rankings, the 5-foot-11, 186-pound Mateychuk is the top-ranked WHL defenceman ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft following a 13-goal, 64-point 2021-22 Regular Season for Moose Jaw. The product of Dominion City, Man. served as captain of Team White at the 2022 Kubota CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game in March. The 17-year-old finished second among Warriors skaters in assists during the 2021-22 campaign, and has recorded 75 points (16G-59A) in 88 career regular season games with Moose Jaw.

Olen Zellweger (Everett Silvertips): The 18-year-old Anaheim Ducks prospect led all WHL defencemen in scoring with 78 points (14G-64A) during the 2021-22 Regular Season, setting both new personal bests and Everett Silvertips franchise marks in the process. The product of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. finished the 2021-22 Regular Season by tallying 19 points (1G-18A) over his final 10 games. In 125 career regular season games with Everett, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound blueliner has totalled 103 points (18G-85A).

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 375 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.

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