Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today Riley Fiddler-Schultz, forward of the Calgary Hitmen, as the recipient of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy (WHL Humanitarian of the Year) Presented by Kia.
“The Kia WHL Humanitarian of the Year Award is a recognition to players who have devoted their time to the communities they represent,” said Michael Kopke, Director of Marketing for Kia Canada. “We would like to congratulate Riley Fiddler-Schultz for winning the Kia WHL Humanitarian of the Year Award. Kia Canada is committed to Powering the Future of Hockey and is honoured to acknowledge and reward players like Riley who display their commitment to community.”
Fiddler-Schultz, a 17-year-old product of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., has quickly engrained himself in Calgary’s community.
In his second season with the Hitmen, Fiddler-Schultz created his own community program coined Fidds Friends. This program brought kids registered with the Boys & Girls Club of Calgary to Hitmen games throughout the season. Attendees received tickets to a game, as well as parking and concession vouchers. Following each game, Fiddler-Schultz met with the kids as well as their guests for post-game photos and autographs. The program reached 60 participants throughout the regular season.
Riley’s contributions to the Boys & Girls Club of Calgary included playing ball hockey with the organization and helping to provide a positive role model for kids within the organization to look up to. One of these interactions included a participant in the Fidds Friends program who had aggressive tendencies. Since meeting Fiddler-Schultz, the participant’s behaviour has improved dramatically.
Initiating another event to give back to his community, Fiddler-Schultz collected donations for the Veterans Food Bank, filling the back of his father’s pick-up truck outside a local grocery store. Upon delivery of the items, he spent additional time with the organization to learn about their mission and how they operate.
Fiddler-Schultz also took the lead for the Hitmen in other community outreach programs. He volunteered with HEROSHockey, a program that uses the game of hockey to teach life skills and empower at-risk youth. He also participated in the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Talk Today Campaign to raise awareness regarding mental health.
The Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy for WHL Humanitarian of the Year is presented annually to the WHL player who helps to enhance the community they play in. The trophy is named in memory of former Regina Pats captain Doug Wickenheiser.
Playing three seasons with his hometown Pats, Wickenheiser recorded 352 points (158G-194A) in 207 WHL regular season games. While noted for his skills on the ice, Wickenheiser was often recognized for his caring and generous nature away from the rink. The Doug Wickenheiser Arena in Regina carries on Doug’s spirit of giving to this day.
As the recipient of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy Presented by Kia, Fiddler-Schultz is now one of three nominees for the Canadian Hockey League’s Kia Humanitarian of the Year Award.
RUNNER UP: Jake Gricius, Portland Winterhawks
Winners of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy / WHL Humanitarian of the Year (since 2000):
2018-19: Will Warm, Edmonton Oil Kings
2017-18: Ty Ronning, Vancouver Giants
2016-17: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes*
2015-16: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes
2014-15: Taylor Vickerman, Tri-City Americans
2013-14: Sam Fioretti, Moose Jaw Warriors*
2012-13: Cody Sylvester, Calgary Hitmen
2011-12: Taylor Vause, Swift Current Broncos
2010-11: Spencer Edwards, Moose Jaw Warriors*
2009-10: Matt Fraser, Kootenay ICE
2008-09: Taylor Procyshen, Tri-City Americans
2007-08: Ashton Hewson, Prince Albert Raiders
2006-07: Kyle Moir, Swift Current Broncos*
2005-06: Wacey Rabbit, Saskatoon Blades
2004-05: Colin Fraser, Red Deer Rebels*
2003-04: Braydon Coburn, Portland Winterhawks
2002-03: Ryan Craig, Brandon Wheat Kings*
2001-02: Brandin Cote, Spokane Chiefs*
2000-01: Jim Vandermeer, Red Deer Rebels*
1999-00: Chris Nielsen, Calgary Hitmen
*Denotes CHL Humanitarian of the Year recipient.
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.