Calgary, AB – The 2014 WHL Awards Luncheon is set for this week as the WHL prepares to salute the best of the 2013-14 regular season. The 2014 WHL Bantam draft is also scheduled for this week as the WHL Clubs select the top Bantam-aged players. Both events can be seen live via Webcast on www.whl.ca.
2014 WHL AWARDS LUNCHEON
The WHL Awards, held annually to recognize the WHL’s best performers, takes place in Calgary, AB, in the Sundance Room at the Deerfoot Inn on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 The list of nominees for the 2014 WHL Awards includes many worthy candidates who enjoyed memorable performances throughout the 2013-14 WHL regular season.
The WHL’s most coveted award is the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the WHL Player of the Year. In the WHL’s Eastern Conference, which includes the East and Central Divisions, the Player of the Year nominee is forward Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice. In the WHL’s Western Conference, which includes the B.C. and U.S. Divisions, the Player of the Year nominee is forward Mitch Holmberg of the Spokane Chiefs.
Reinhart enjoyed a strong season scoring 36 goals and 69 assists for 105 points along with a +24 rating in 60 games. Reinhart’s consistency during the 2013-14 regular season was remarkable as he was held off the score sheet just nine times, was only held without a point in back-to-back games once, and enjoyed a WHL-best 22-game point streak.
Holmberg’s 62 goals and 118 points led all WHL players, allowing him to become the first member of the Chiefs to win the WHL scoring title since Ray Whitney in 1990-91. In addition, Holmberg led all WHL players with 23 power play goals and 10 game-winning goals, and finished tied for second among WHL players with six shorthanded goals. Holmberg finished with 12 more goals than his nearest competitor, and is only the second WHL player since the 2000-01 season to reach the 60-goal mark during a season
Among other 2014 WHL Awards nominees are the two finalists for the WHL Rookie of the Year. 18-year-old forward Nikita Scherbak of the Saskatoon Blades, the Eastern Conference’s finalist, and 16-year-old forward Nick Merkley, of the Kelowna Rockets, the Western Conference’s finalist, will both be looking to go home with the Jim Piggott Memorial trophy.
The 2014 WHL Awards Luncheon will also see the presentation of the Bill Hunter Memorial trophy for the WHL Defenceman of the Year, the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial trophy for WHL Scholastic Player of the Year, the Brad Hornung trophy for WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player, the Del Wilson trophy for WHL Goaltender of the Year, the Dunc McCallum Memorial trophy for WHL Coach of the Year, the Lloyd Saunders Memorial trophy for WHL Executive of the Year, the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial trophy for WHL Humanitarian of the Year, the Allen Paradice Memorial trophy for WHL Top Official, and the awards WHL Scholastic Team of the Year and for WHL Marketing.
Over the years, the WHL has presented awards to many players who have gone on to stardom in the NHL and in international play.
Past winners of the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy include current NHL stars Cam Ward (Red Deer Rebels, 2003-04), Jordan Eberle (Regina Pats, 2009-10) and Jarome Iginla (Kamloops Blazers, 1995-96), and NHL legends such as Joe Sakic (Swift Current Broncos, 1986-87 & 1987-88), Mike Vernon (Calgary Wranglers, 1981-82 & 1982-83), Bryan Trottier (Lethbridge Broncos, 1974-75) and Bobby Clarke (Flin Flon Bombers, 1968-69). Last year’s winner was forward Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos.
2014 WHL BANTAM DRAFT
The Western Hockey League will conduct its annual Bantam Draft on Thursday, May 1st, at the Deerfoot Inn in Calgary, AB.
The WHL Bantam Draft is the first opportunity for WHL Clubs to replenish their systems with graduating Bantam-aged players. The order of selection for the first round of the draft is determined through a weighted lottery consisting of the six non-playoff teams. The draft order is based on the inverse overall standings from the regular season.
The 2014 WHL Bantam Draft will see the Brandon Wheat Kings select first overall. The Draft begins at 8:30AM MDT.