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The date is set for the WHL to recognize the league's best performers at the Awards Luncheon, to be held in Calgary, AB, 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, including a young star from the Kelowna Rockets.
The WHL’s most coveted award is the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the WHL Player of the Year. This year Sam Reinhart is the nominee from the Eastern Conference, the Captain of the Kootenay Ice, scored 36 goals and 69 assists for 105 points along with a +24 rating in 60 games. From the Western Conference, Mitch Holmberg of the Spokane Chiefs is honored with the nomination, his 62 goals and 118 points led all WHL players, making him the first member of the Chiefs to win the WHL scoring title since Ray Whitney in 1990-91. Last year’s winner was forward Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos.
Photo Credit: Kelowna Now
Kelowna Rockets sixteen-year-old forward Nick Merkley, of the Kelowna Rockets, is the Western Conference’s finalist, for the Jim Piggott Memorial trophy, given to the league’s Rookie of the Year. His competition for the award is Eastern Conference nominee, eighteen-year-old forward Nikita Scherbak of the Saskatoon Blades.
Photo Credit: Saskatoon Blades
Following the WHL Awards from this past season, the league will look to the future with its annual Bantam Draft the following day, Thursday, May 1st.
With many four year players exiting the WHL, the Bantam Draft is the first opportunity for teams to replenish their systems with graduating Bantam-aged players. The draft order is based on the inverse overall standings from the regular season, which means that the first place Kelowna Rockets will be choosing last. Luckily for the Rockets, the future of their team looks pretty solid considering their youngest players are some of the best in the entire league, and come Wednesday, they could have the hardware to prove it!
Both of these events can be enjoyed on the WHL website.