by Jeff Hubert
February 17, 2014, Calgary, AB (ISN) – The Western Hockey League announced today that Portland Winterhawks’ forward Taylor Leier is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 16, 2014.
Leier tallied four goals and six assists for 10 points with a +4 rating in four games over the past week, helping the Winterhawks to four straight road wins in that span.
On Monday, February 10th, Leier netted a goal and three assists to help lead the visiting Winterhawks to an 8-4 win over the Prince George Cougars. On Wednesday, February 12th, he scored once in a 6-4 victory over the Cougars in Prince George. On Friday, February 14th, Leier tallied two goals, including his 30th of the season, and added two assists while earning 1st Star honors in a 7-4 win in Kamloops. On Saturday, February 15th, Leier drew an assist to help the Winterhawks set a new franchise record with their 16th consecutive victory in a 7-4 win in Vancouver.
Leier, a Saskatoon, SK, product who just celebrated his 20th birthday, is in his third season in the WHL with the Winterhawks, and currently sits fourth on the team in scoring with 31 goals and 64 points in 49 games. Selected in the second round, 24th overall, in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Leier has played 185 career regular-season games for Portland, scoring 71 goals and 164 points. He was a fourth-round pick, 117th overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL Draft.
The WHL has also nominated Eric Williams of the Spokane Chiefs for the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week award. A 20-year-old from Langley, B.C., Williams posted a 2-1-0 record with a shutout in three appearances over the past week. On Wednesday, February 12th, Williams stopped 32 of 34 shots and was the game’s 2nd Star in a 2-1 loss to the visiting Kelowna Rockets. On Saturday, February 15th, he stopped all 16 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season and was named the game’s 3rd Star in a 7-0 win over the visiting Tri-City Americans. On Sunday, February 16th, Williams made 34 saves on 37 shots and was the game’s 1st Star in a 5-3 triumph over the visiting Everett Silvertips. Williams is in his fourth and final season in the WHL, and third season with the Chiefs. He was selected by the Prince Albert Raiders in the fourth round, 71st overall, in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft. Williams is a free agent.
Denny’s WHL Player of the Week
- Feb. 10 – Feb. 16: Taylor Leier, Portland Winterhawks
- Feb. 3 – Feb. 9: Sam Reinhart, Kootenay Ice
- Jan. 27 – Feb. 2: Myles Bell, Kelowna Rockets
- Jan. 20 – Jan. 26: Brendan Leipsic, Portland Winterhawks
- Jan. 13 – Jan. 19: Derrick Pouliot, Portland Winterhawks
- Jan. 6 – Jan. 12: Todd Fiddler, Prince George Cougars
- 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