22 WHL Alumni taking home honours

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(ISN) – CALGARY, AB – The Western Hockey League would like to congratulate the 22 WHL graduates that earned a Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) award or were named to Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) conference all-star teams.

Of the 22 WHL Alumni taking home honours, 18 were recognized as either a CWUAA award winner or all-star team member while four WHL graduates were named to all-star teams by Atlantic University Sport (AUS). All 22 award winners are recipients of the WHL Scholarship.

The award winners were led by University of Alberta Golden Bears forward, and former Edmonton Oil King, T.J. Foster who was recognized as the 2014-15 Canada West Men’s Hockey Outstanding Player of the Year. In addition, Foster also earned the Dave “Sweeney’ Schriner Trophy as the conference’s top scorer after finishing the regular season with 42 points (18g-24a) in 28 contests.

January’s WHL Graduate of the Month, Foster, collected 256 points (101g-155a) in 338 regular season games over five seasons with the Oil Kings. The Slave Lake, AB product also was as a CWUAA First All-Star Team.

“In only his second season of CIS Hockey, T.J. has proven himself to be one of the top offensive players in the nation,” said Golden Bears Head Coach Ian Herbers. “He has really elevated his game this season and has been a key ingredient to our success. He is an NHL caliber skater, which makes him a constant threat when he is on the ice. He plays a 200-foot game and is used in all situations over the course of a game.”

Foster’s teammate, Jesse Craige, won the Mervyn “Red” Dutton Award as Outstanding Defenceman of the Year after he finished second in points amongst Canada West blueliners with 19 points in 26 games.

Craige is now a two-time winner of the Mervyn “Red” Dutton Award, also earning the honour in 2013. During his WHL career, Craige amassed 109 points (27g-82a) in 218 regular season games split between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Chilliwack Bruins. The Edmonton, AB native was also selected as a CWUAA First Team All-Star.

“Jesse has proven himself to be a leader on and off the ice during his time as a Golden Bear,” said Golden Bears Head Coach Ian Herbers. “He plays the game with heart and character and those attributes have helped make him one of the top players in Canada West hockey. Besides his on-ice skill and success, he has been a mentor for our younger players and has led the way and showed them how to be a Golden Bear.”

Another member of the University of Alberta Golden Bears received an award as Stephane Legault was named the CWUAA Rookie of the Year while also earning a spot on the All-Rookie Team. Legault notched 21 points (6g-15a) in his freshman season to lead all Canada West rookies in scoring. The 22-year-old native of Edmonton, AB spent his entire WHL career with Edmonton where he registered 108 points (35g-73a) in 186 regular season contests.

“After helping the Edmonton Oil Kings win the WHL championship and advance to the 2013 Memorial Cup, Stephane took a year off from hockey and did not play in 2013-14,” said Golden Bears Head Coach Ian Herbers. “Despite the year away from the game, he has not missed a beat in his first season with the Golden Bears and has proven to be a great addition to our program.”

Kris Lazaruk of the University of Calgary Dinos was selected as the CWUAA Goaltender of the Year and received a First Team All-Star nod as he led the conference in goals against average (1.67), save percentage (.938) and shutouts (3) to go along with a 9-4-0 record. In addition, Lazaruk combined with teammate Jacob DeSerres to secure the best team goals against average and win the Adam Krycka Memorial Trophy as the tandem allowed just 53 goals this past season.

In his WHL career, Lazaruk posted a 69-44-4-5 record with a 2.88 goals against average and a .904 save percentage in 134 regular season matches with the Kootenay Ice and Kelowna Rockets. DeSerres, a product of Calgary, AB, registered a 66-44-1-4 record with a 2.79 goals against average and a .903 save percentage in 124 regular season games after he began his WHL career with the Seattle Thunderbirds and concluded it with the Brandon Wheat Kings and a Memorial Cup appearance.

“We have been fortunate to have great goaltenders and Kris had an amazing year from start to finish,” said Dinos Head Coach Mark Howell. “Credit has to go to our goaltending coach Brad Kirkwood and to Jacob DeSerres for always pushing Kris. Our goaltenders will always say our team defence helps them be good, but they have been exceptional and he is very deserving of this award.”

Elgin Pearce, another Dino, received the UBC Hockey Alumni Trophy for Sportsmanship and Athletic Ability. Pearce netted 31 points (17g-14a) to lead the Dinos in goals and points while notching just eight penalty minutes in the 2014-15 season. Pearce spent the majority of his WHL career with the Kootenay Ice before finishing with Medicine Hat and recorded 148 points (65g-83a) over 254 WHL regular season games. Pearce, who hails from Port Coquitlam, BC, was also named to the CWUAA Second All-Star Team.

“When Elgin came to us last year he was a very good player, but this year he had had an entirely different focus,” said Dinos Head Coach Mark Howell. “He had a great summer and came in very determined to have a solid year. From the middle of October on, he became one of our most dynamic forwards by competing really hard, playing physical and going to the hard areas – all while being very disciplined.”

University of Manitoba Bisons forward Jordan DePape was selected for the Student-Athlete Community Service Award for his contributions on the ice, in the classroom and in the community. The 6’0″, 195 lb forward was seventh in conference scoring with 27 points and his 13 goals were tied for fifth-best. In his WHL career, DePape tallied 107 points (49g-58a) in 144 regular season games played primarily for the Kamloops Blazers.

DePape is majoring in Criminology and currently owns a 3.3 grade point average. The Winnipeg, MB native was a recipient of the annual Mike Ridley Award scholarship for excellence in academics and athletics, and was also the 2014-15 winner of the University of Manitoba’s Doug Hedley Award for best exemplifying the qualities demonstrated by former Bison Football and Hockey player Doug Hedley: commitment to teammates, commitment to team cohesiveness, dedication to fitness and self-improvement, and competitiveness.

DePape was involved with the community as a CanU Mentor, Siloam Mission volunteer, diabetes educator, and a Junior Bison hockey coach. He was also an active volunteer at the shelter by helping prepare and serve meals to Winnipeg’s homeless, and donating, collecting and delivering toys and basic life necessities such as food and clothing to the Mission. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 13, DePape participated in a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation event in Mississauga, Ontario where he inspired and motivated children with diabetes by sharing his story.

“We are very proud of Jordan and what he has achieved this season,” said Bisons Head Coach Mike Sirant. “He is an exceptional representative of the University of Manitoba and the Bison men’s hockey program. Jordan exemplifies what all CIS student-athletes should strive for – positive leadership and excellence in academics, athletics, and community service.”

CWUAA Award Winners (WHL Alumni)
Award: Name, Team ( WHL Club(s) )

Outstanding Player of the Year: T.J. Foster, University of Alberta (Edmonton)
Top Scorer: T.J. Foster, University of Alberta (Edmonton)
Outstanding Defenceman of the Year: Jesse Craige, University of Alberta (Lethbridge/Chilliwack)
Rookie of the Year: Stephane Legault, University of Alberta (Edmonton)
Goaltender of the Year: Kris Lazaruk, University of Calgary (Kootenay/Kelowna)
Best Team GAA: Kris Lazaruk and Jacob DeSerres, University of Calgary (Kootenay/Kelowna – Seattle/Brandon)
Sportsmanship & Athletic Ability Award: Elgin Pearce, University of Calgary (Kootenay/Medicine Hat)
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Jordan DePape, University of Manitoba (Brandon/Kamloops/Red Deer)

CWUAA First All-Star Team (WHL Alumni)
Name, Position, Team ( WHL Club(s) )

Kris Lazaruk, Goaltender, University of Calgary (Kootenay/Kelowna)
Jesse Craige, Defence, University of Alberta (Lethbridge/Chilliwack)
T.J. Foster, Forward, University of Alberta (Edmonton)
Jordan Hickmott, Forward, University of Alberta (Medicine Hat/Prince Albert/Edmonton)

CWUAA Second All-Star Team (WHL Alumni)

Ryan Holfeld, Goaltender, University of Saskatchewan (Medicine Hat)
Matthew Delahey, Defence, University of Saskatchewan (Regina/Chilliwack)
Jordan Rowley, Defence, University of Alberta (Kamloops/Prince Albert)
Tyler Fiddler, Forward, Mount Royal University (Calgary)
Elgin Pearce, Forward, University of Calgary (Kootenay/Medicine Hat)
Kruise Reddick, Forward, University of Alberta (Tri-City)

CWUAA All-Rookie Team (WHL Alumni)

Eric Williams, Goaltender, University of British Columbia (Prince Albert/Spokane)
Dylan Bredo, Defence, University of Alberta (Medicine Hat)
MacKenzie Johnston, Defence, Mount Royal University (Kelowna/Prince Albert/Saskatoon)
Riley Kieser, Forward, University of Alberta (Vancouver/Edmonton)
Stephane Legault, Forward, University of Alberta (Edmonton)
Michael Soffilas, Forward, University of Saskatchewan (Lethbridge)

AUS Second All-Star Team (WHL Alumni)

Drew Owsley, Goaltender, St. Francis Xavier University (Tri-City/Prince George)

AUS All-Rookie Team (WHL Alumni)

Corbin Boes, Goaltender, Dalhousie University (Brandon/Lethbridge/Portland)
Jagger Dirk, Forward, St. Francis Xavier University (Kootenay)
Zachary Franko, Forward, Acadia University (Kelowna/Kootenay)

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