by Jeff Hubert

January 6, 2014, Calgary, AB (ISN) – The Western Hockey League announced today that Kelowna Rockets’ forward Myles Bell is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 5, 2014.

Bell scored five goals and added five assists for 10 points along with a +6 rating in four games over the past week, helping the Rockets post a 3-1-0 record in that span.

On Tuesday, December 31st, Bell scored once and added two assists to help lead the Rockets to a 9-3 victory over the Winterhawks in Portland, OR.  On Thursday, January 2nd, Bell scored twice and set up two more while earning 1st Star honors in a 7-2 victory in Portland.  Held off the score sheet in a 4-2 loss in Vancouver to the Giants on Friday, January 3rd, Bell responded with two goals and an assist while being named the game’s 1st Star in a 4-2 victory over the visiting Giants on Saturday, January 4th in Kelowna, B.C.

Bell, a 20-year-old product of Calgary, AB, is in his fifth season in the WHL and third campaign with the Rockets.  He currently leads the Rockets with 23 goals and ranks second on the team with 43 points in 37 games while helping the Club to first place in the overall WHL standings.  Drafted in the first round, 17th overall, by the Regina Pats in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, Bell has amassed 94 goals and 241 points in 295 career WHL contests.  Bell was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the sixth round, 160th overall,  in the 2012 NHL Draft.

The WHL has also nominated Eetu Laurikainen of the Swift Current Broncos for the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week award.  A 20-year-old from Jyvaskyla, Finland, Laurikainen posted a 1-1-0 record in two starts over the past week, allowing just three goals on 81 shots for a 1.51 goals-against average and a .963 save percentage in that span.  On Friday, January 3rd, Laurikainen stopped 32 of 34 shots while earning 3rd Star honors in a 3-1 loss to the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C.  On Saturday, January 4th, Laurikainen turned aside 46 of 47 shots and was named the game’s 1st Star in a 3-1 Broncos’ win over the Tigers in Medicine Hat.  Laurikainen is in his second season in the WHL with the Broncos, and currently owns a 13-11-0-4 record with a 2.63 GAA and a .925 save percentage for the East Division-leading Club.  He was chosen in the first round, 20th overall, in the 2012 CHL Import Draft.

Denny’s WHL Player of the Week
Dec. 30 – Jan. 5: Myles Bell, Kelowna Rockets
Dec. 9 – Dec. 15: Mike Aviani, Spokane Chiefs
Dec. 2 – Dec. 8: Chandler Stephenson, Regina Pats
Nov. 25 – Dec. 1: Leon Draisaitl, Prince Albert Raiders
Nov. 18 – Nov. 24: Josh Winquist, Everett Silvertips
Nov. 11 – Nov. 17: Ryan Pulock, Brandon Wheat Kings
Nov. 4 – Nov. 10: Mitch Holmberg, Spokane Chiefs
Oct. 28 – Nov. 3: Jayce Hawryluk, Brandon Wheat Kings
Oct. 21 – Oct. 27: Josh Winquist, Everett Silvertips
Oct. 14 – Oct. 20: Nicolas Petan, Portland Winterhawks
Oct. 7 – Oct. 13: Matt Pufahl, Everett Silvertips
Sept. 30 – Oct. 6: Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets
Sept. 23 – Sept. 29: Mitch Holmberg, Spokane Chiefs
Sept. 19 – Sept. 22: Julius Honka, Swift Current Broncos