(ISN) – NEW WESTMINSTER, BC – The Canada West Universities Athletic Association announced University of Alberta Golden Bears and former Edmonton Oil Kings centre TJ Foster as the January 2015 Canada West WHL Graduate of the Month.
Foster scored six goals, nine assists and 15 points while registering a +13 rating in 10 games for the nationally top-ranked Golden Bears in January.
The ex-Oil Kings standout netted two power play goals, one short-handed goal and two game-winners en route to leading Alberta to a 9-0-1 record in January that led to a first-place finish in the Canada West standings.
A second-year Business major, Foster was one of six Golden Bears selected to the Canada West All-Stars roster for the FISU Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain.
The centre from Slave Lake, Alberta finished the season at the top of the conference scoring list with 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points with only eight penalty minutes in 28 games.
Foster scored points in nine of Alberta’s 10 games and registered four multiple-point games, including a multiple-goal game at Lethbridge last January 16. Twice in January, Foster recorded multi-assist games – January 4 versus Calgary and January 20 versus Regina.
Additionally, the Canada West and CIS Male Athlete of the Week for the first week of January also scored back-to-back game-winning goals at Calgary in January 4 and in overtime versus Regina in January 9.
Foster finished the season among the Canada West leaders in goals (second), assists (first), plus/minus (first at +28), game-winning goals (first with four) and was second in power play goals (five), third in short-handed goals and overtime goals (one), fourth in shots (98) and seventh in power play assists (seven).
The other nominee for the month was Mount Royal Cougars and ex-Saskatoon Blades defenceman Mackenzie Johnston.
The Canada West playoffs begin in February 20 with the best-of-three quarterfinal series between Mount Royal and Saskatchewan, and UBC and Manitoba. The lower-seeded team that advances will travel to Alberta to face Foster and the Bears in the best-of-three semifinals beginning in February 27. Calgary will host the other semifinal series.
Canada West Universities Athletic Association and the Western Hockey League have partnered for 25 years to recognize outstanding athletic achievement and assist in educational development of men’s hockey players who represent the full student-athlete experience within Canada West.
The WHL Graduate of the Month award is voted on by all Canada West men’s hockey coaches. Each monthly winner receives a $500 cheque towards the cost of education and a letter from WHL Commissioner Ron Robison.