Evan Daum, Canada West Communications
- 49 players with Western Hockey League (WHL) experience are set to take part in the Canada West Men's Hockey Final, when the Alberta Golden Bears host the Saskatchewan Huskies
- 25 Bears have WHL experience, with 6,523 combined WHL games played
- 24 Huskies played in the WHL, with 6,384 WHL games on their collective resume
- The best-of-three CWF is a rematch of the last two conference championship series
- Calgary's Chris Collins is the WHL Grad of the Month for February
EDMONTON – When the Alberta Golden Bears and Saskatchewan Huskies step onto the ice this weekend for the Canada West Men's Hockey Final, there will be a distinctly Western Hockey League feel to the bitter rivalry.
49 combined players with WHL experience are on the Bears and Huskies rosters, as they get set to battle for the Canada West title for a third consecutive season.
The series, which opens Friday night (7 p.m. MST) at Clare Drake Arena in Edmonton, features 25 players on Alberta with WHL experience, while Saskatchewan sports 24 WHL grads.
All told, the 49 WHL graduates played 12,907 combined games and collectively registered 6,433 points in the WHL, representing the important role the league continues to play in fuelling the high quality of CW men's hockey.
Included on the Bears and Huskies rosters are 2017-18 conference major award winners Luke Philp (Player of the Year), Steven Owre (Rookie of the Year), and Jason Fram (Defenceman of the Year) of Alberta, along with Saskatchewan's Jordon Cooke (Goalie of the Year), and Kendall McFaull (Student-Athlete Community Service).
The 49 WHL grads competing in the 2018 CW Men's Hockey Final are part of the 150 WHL grads who played in CW this season, and the more than 360 total WHL Scholarships granted by the WHL and its member clubs this season.
Every player who plays in the WHL is eligible to receive the WHL Scholarship. For every season a player plays in the WHL, they receive a guaranteed, full-year WHL Scholarship including tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees to a post-secondary institution of their choice.
Administered by the WHL Office, WHL Scholarships are solely funded by the member Clubs of the WHL. This season, WHL Clubs will contribute in excess of $2.5 million to graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship.
You can watch the Bears-Huskies in the best-of-three CW final by tuning into Canada West TV – the official streaming home of every conference men's hockey game.
For a complete look at the CW final schedule, click here.
CALGARY'S COLLINS NAMED WHL GRADUATE OF THE MONTH
After registering 15 points in 10 games over the month of February, Calgary Dino Chris Collins is the WHL Grad of the Month.
A veteran of 219 WHL games split between the Chilliwack Bruins and Saskatoon Blades, Collins posted five goals and four assists in four regular season games, before going onto record four goals and two assists in six CW playoff games.
Collins, who finished the regular season tied for sixth in conference scoring with 29 points, helped lead the Dinos to the conference semifinals with a quarter-final win over the UBC Thunderbirds, before Calgary bowed out of the CW playoffs in a three-game loss to Saskatchewan in the semis.
The fifth-year forward finished his CW regular season career with 140 games played, 56 goals, 76 assists, and 132 points.
2017-18 WHL Grads of the Month:
October: Luke Philp, Alberta
November: Zak Zborosky, Regina
December: Garret Hughson, Lethbridge
January: Matt Hewitt, UBC
WHL GRADUATES IN THE CANADA WEST FINAL
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS
25 players / 6,523 combined WHL GP / 3,737 combined WHL points
NAME – POSITION – HOMETOWN – LAST WHL TEAM (TOTAL WHL GP/PTS.)
- Brendan Burke – G – Scottsdale, AZ – Calgary Hitmen (170/3)
- Clayton Kirichenko– D – Sherwood Park, AB – Medicine Hat Tigers (249/125)
- Jason Fram – D – Delta, BC – Spokane Chiefs (346/201)
- Graeme Craig – D – Red Deer, AB – Prince Albert Raiders (336/71)
- Sawyer Lange – D – Prince Albert, SK – Prince Albert (260/119)
- Ryan Rehill – D – Edmonton, AB – Kamloops Blazers (265/87)
- Stephane Legault – F – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Oil Kings (228/144)
- Jamie Crooks – F – Vermillion, AB – Victoria Royals (314/214)
- Taylor Cooper – F – Sherwood Park, AB – Regina Pats (230/132)
- Luke Philp – F – Canmore, AB – Red Deer Rebels (309/292)
- Steven Owre – F – Rocklin, CA – Medicine Hat Tigers (322/245)
- Riley Kieser – F – Sherwood Park, AB – Edmonton Oil Kings (186/82)
- Jayden Hart – F – Spruce Grove, AB – Prince Albert Raiders (247/160)
- Tyson Baillie – F – Ft. Saskatchewan, AB – Kelowna Rockets (393/373)
- Brandon Magee – F – Edmonton, AB – Victoria Royals (345/293)
- Ben Carroll – D – Sherwood Park, AB – Edmonton Oil Kings (203/85)
- Wil Tomchuk – D – Fort McMurray, AB – Prince George Cougars (132/11)
- Cole Sanford – F – Coldstream, BC – Regina Pats (308/303)
- Dylan Bredo – D – Edmonton, AB – Medicine Hat Tigers (400/160)
- Kenny Cameron – G – Edmonton, AB – Medicine Hat Tigers (14/0)
- Zach Sawchenko – G – Calgary, AB – Moose Jaw Warrriors (194/2)
- Trevor Cox – F – Surrey, BC – Vancouver Giants (365/341)
- Lucas Nickles – F – Salmon Arm, BC – Tri-City Americans (290/115)
- Cole Linaker – F – Edmonton, AB – Kelowna Rockets (315/147)
- Nick Charif – D – Edmonton, AB – Spokane Chiefs (102/32)
24 players / 6,384 combined WHL GP / 2,696 combined WHL points
NAME – POSITION – HOMETOWN – LAST WHL TEAM (TOTAL WHL GP/PTS.)
- Kendall McFaull – D – Rosetown, SK – Moose Jaw Warriors (294/62)
- Connor Cox – D – Lethbridge, AB – Everett Silvertips (305/113)
- Colby Harmsworth – D – Saskatoon, SK – Calgary Hitmen (275/55)
- Jesse Forsberg – D – Waldheim SK – Moose Jaw Warriors (307/112)
- Jordan Fransoo – D – North Battleford, SK – Victoria Royals (385/89)
- Tanner Lishchynsky – D – Saskatoon, SK – Kootenay Ice (180/45)
- Jordan Tkatch – F – Prud'homme, SK – Prince Albert Raiders (341/189)
- Levi Cable – F – Hudson Bay, SK – Kootenay Ice (291/132)
- Collin Shirley – F – Saskatoon, SK – Kamloops Blazers (362/246)
- Connor Gay– F – Saskatoon, SK – Saskatoon Blades (246/189)
- Carter Folk – F – Regina, SK – Victoria Royals (255/81)
- Logan McVeigh – F – Kenaston, SK – Kamloops Blazers (340/156)
- Michael Sofillas – F – Morden, MB – Lethbridge Hurricanes (119/26)
- Carson Stadnyk – F – Saskatoon, SK – Everett Silvertips (314/188)
- Jaimen Yakubowski – F – Dalmeny, SK – Moose Jaw Warriors (252/126)
- Kohl Bauml – F – Saskatoon, SK – Everett Silvertips (294/176)
- Andrew Johnson – F – Saskatoon, SK – Swift Current Broncos (294/107)
- Sam Ruopp – D – Zehner, SK – Prince George Cougars (272/95)
- Wyatt Johnson – F – Saskatoon, SK – Spokane Chiefs (250/143)
- MacKenzie Johnston – D – Swift Current, SK – Saskatoon Blades (315/63)
- John Lawrence – F – Newdale, MB – Calgary Hitmen (77/9)
- Alex Forsberg – F – Waldheim, SK – Victoria Royals (294/258)
- Taran Kozun – G – Nipawin, SK – Seattle Thunderbirds (148/4)
- Jordon Cooke – G – Leduc, AB – Kelowna Rockets (174/1)