Daily Dose of the Dub: Five WHL players win CHL awards, Upgrades coming to Americans home rink

CHL hands out annual awards in Halifax

The CHL handed out its annual awards on Saturday as part of the Memorial Cup festivities in Halifax. A total of 10 awards were handed out, five of which went to WHL players.

Vancouver Giants defenseman Bowen Byram, who is currently ranked second among North American skaters for the 2019 NHL Entry by NHL Central Scouting, took home the Top Prospect Award. He is the first WHL representative to win the award since Brandon Wheat Kings alumni Nolan Patrick won the award in 2017. Byram was up against Arthur Kaliyev of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs and Raphael Lavoie of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads.

Prince Albert Raiders goaltender and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Ian Scott was named the CHL’s goaltender of the year. Scott appeared in 49 games for the Raiders this season and finished with 38 wins, a 1.83 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage en route to the Raiders first Ed Chynoweth Cup since 1985. This is the second straight year a WHL goaltender has won this award, following Everett Silvertips alumni Carter Hart taking home the award last year. The WHL has won 11 of the last 16 goaltender of the year awards. Scott was up against Ukko-Pekka Lukkonen of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves and Samuel Harvey of the QMJHL-champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

Spokane Chiefs defenseman Ty Smith is the CHL defenseman of the year. The New Jersey Devils prospect played 57 games for the Chiefs and finished with seven goals and 62 assists. His win is the first for the WHL since Wheat Kings’ alumni Ivan Provorov took home the award in 2016. The other nominees for the award were Evan Bouchard from the OHL’s London Knights and Charle-Edouard D’astous from the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic.

Moose Jaw Warriors forward Justin Almeida is the CHL’s Sportsman of the Year. Almeida, a prospect of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, finished in second in WHL scoring with 111 points (33 G, 78 A) while only taking 14 minutes in penalties. It’s another back-to-back win for the WHL as Swift Current Broncos alumni Aleksi Heponiemi took home the award last season. Almeida was up against Nick Suzuki of the OHL-Champion Guelph Storm and Peter Abbandonato of the QMJHL-champion Huskies.

Silvertips goaltender Dustin Wolf had an impressive season on and off the ice, which earned him the CHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year award. Wolf maintained a 100% average across his four Grade 12 courses while also leading the WHL in wins (41), goals-against average (1.69) and save percentage (.936). Raiders alumni Josh Morrissey was the last WHL representative to win the award, doing so in 2013. Wolf competed with Thomas Harley from the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads and Matthew Welsh from the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders.

Upgrades coming to Toyota Center

The Toyota Center, home of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, will be getting some much-needed upgrades over the summer. The upgrades include two 41-foot LED screens and a new ice-making plant and are expected to cost around $4-million. The upgrades will bring the Toyota Center up to the new WHL standards for player safety and fan amenities. The WHL set the 2019-20 season as the deadline for upgrades to arenas to meet the new standards.

ICE prospects take home AMMHL awards

Winnipeg ICE prospect Ethan Sundar has been named the MVP and Top Scorer of the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League. In 33 games with the St. Albert Flyers Minor Midget AAA team, Sundar had 32 goals and 37 assists. He was selected by the ICE in the sixth round of the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.

ICE prospect Colby Ball was named the AMMHL’s Most Valuable Defenseman. Ball played for the AMMHL’s Sherwood Park Squires and suited up for 29 games and scored 11 goals and added 17 assists. He was a 10th round pick of the ICE in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.

Canadiens sign Brett Kulak to contract extension

The Montreal Canadiens have signed defenseman Brett Kulak to a three-year contract extension. Kulak played 216 games in the WHL with the Giants and scored 35 goals and added 93 assists. He was selected by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. In 158 games NHL games, he has eight goals and 20 assists.

Jets re-sign Laurent Brossoit

The Winnipeg Jets have signed goaltender Laurent Brossoit (146 GP with the Edmonton Oil Kings) to a one-year contract extension. Brossoit was originally a sixth-round pick of the Flames in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft but was traded to the Edmonton Oilers before playing a game for the Flames. He has played 49 games in the NHL with the Oilers and Jets.

 

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