4 players from B.C. among winners as WHL hands out annual awards

The Western Hockey League announced its annual award winners this week, and four players from B.C. made the list.

Leading the way for B.C. was Logan Stankoven of the Kamloops Blazers, as the hometown product won the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s player of the year.

Stankoven, a five-foot-eight and 170-pound forward, placed third in the WHL’s scoring race with 45 goals and 104 points. This season also saw him register a pair of five-point nights, on Nov. 3 and Jan. 29.

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“Thank you to my teammates and coaches for helping me achieve this award,” Stankoven told the WHL. “My friends and family also played a huge part as well as Blazer Nation, they play key parts in where I am today.

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“It’s an honour, there are so many other talented players who could have won this award, I’m grateful to win it.”

For each trophy, the WHL has four finalists, one from each division (B.C., U.S., Central and East).

The finalists for the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy included two B.C. products: Ben King of Vernon, who plays for the Red Deer Rebels of the Central Division, and Connor Bedard of North Vancouver, who plays for the Regina Pats of the East Division.

Stankoven is the third Blazer to win the trophy, and first since Jarome Iginla in 1995-96. The other Blazer was Rob Brown in 1986-87.

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Stankoven also won the Brad Hornung Memorial Trophy as the league’s most sportsmanlike player.

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He amassed just 16 minutes in penalties this season, and was one of only four players to finish in the top 50 in scoring while registering 20 or fewer penalty minutes.

Other award winners:

Top scorer (Bobby Clarke Trophy)

Arshdeep Bains of Surrey, Red Deer Rebels

The Vancouver Canucks prospect led the league in scoring with 43 goals and 69 assists for 112 points during the regular season. Teammate Ben King was second in scoring with 105 points, with Stankoven third at 104 and Bedard fourth at 100.

In his fifth season with Red Deer, the six-foot-one and 184-pound Bains was held off the scoresheet just 13 times. He also had 17 games where he tallied three or more points.

Bains signed an entry-level contract with the Canucks in March.

Goaltender of the year (Del Wilson Memorial Trophy)

Dylan Garand of Victoria, Kamloops Blazers

Garand, a prospect of the New York Rangers, helped the Blazers claim a third successive B.C. Division title during the 2021-22 season.

The 19-year-old finished tied for the WHL lead with 34 wins while placing second among goaltenders in goals-against average (2.16) and save percentage (.925).

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“I definitely would not have won this award without my teammates, they deserve a ton of credit. We have an unbelievable coaching staff that gives me a bit of freedom, allows me to play my game and has allowed me to develop into myself,” said Garand.

Garand was also selected to represent Canada at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Scholastic player of the year (Daryl K. Seaman Memorial Trophy)

Connor Levis of Vancouver, Kamloops Blazers

The WHL said Levis has registered an academic average of 95.6 per cent, including high averages in electronics and robotics, math and pre-calculus, science, social studies and English.

On the ice, the six-foot-two and 193-pound forward finished second among Blazers rookies with 42 points (16 goals, 26 assists) in 68 regular-season games.

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Defenceman of the year (Bill Hunter Trophy)

Olen Zellweger of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Everett Silvertips

B.C. Division finalist: Victoria Royals, Gannon Laroque of Edmonton

Rookie of the year (Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy)

Brayden Yager of Saskatoon, Moose Jaw Warriors

B.C. Division finalist: Andrew Cristall of Burnaby, Kelowna Rockets

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Humanitarian of the year (Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy)

Luke Prokop of Edmonton, Edmonton Oil Kings

B.C. Division finalist: Kamloops Blazers, Logan Stankoven of Kamloops

U.S. Division finalist: Spokane Chiefs, Graham Sward of Abbotsford

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Scholastic team of the year (Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy)

Brandon Wheat Kings

Coach of the year (Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy)

James Patrick, Winnipeg Ice

In his fifth season behind the bench with the Ice, Patrick guided Winnipeg to its best-ever regular-season record (53-10-3-2, 111 points).

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B.C. Division finalist: Kris Mallette, Kelowna Rockets

Executive of the year (Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy)

Matt Cockell, Winnipeg Ice

B.C. Division finalist: Bruce Hamilton, Kelowna Rockets

Top official (Allen Paradice Memorial Trophy)

Chris Crich, Airdrie, Alta.

Crich recently completed his 16th season as a WHL official, beginning his tenure as a linesman in 2006-07 before refereeing his first WHL regular-season game in 2007-08.

The 38-year-old has officiated in 674 WHL regular-season games and more than 100 WHL playoff contests. Along with being part of the officiating crew for the WHL championship series from 2015 to 2019, he was also a referee at the 2019 Memorial Cup in Halifax.

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