The Kelowna Rockets are proud to announce that 14 former Rockets have been awarded WHL scholarships for the fall semester of the 2016-17 academic year.
Headlining the list of Rockets are players like Tyson Baillie who is attending the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
Baillie played parts of five seasons with Kelowna including three spent as an alternate captain. He accumulated 310 points in 329 games. He was also part of the 2014-15 championship Rockets team. Baillie was also named as a WHL first all-star in 2015-16. He is currently playing for the University of Alberta Golden Bears men’s hockey team.
Cole Linaker is another Rockets alumni that is attending the University of Alberta and collecting the WHL scholarship. Linaker amassed 120 points in 253 games with the Rockets that spanned over parts of five seasons. He was also part of the championship Rockets of 2014-15. He spent one season serving as an alternate captain for Kelowna. Linaker is also playing for the U of A Golden Bears men’s hockey team.
Zach Franko played parts of four WHL seasons with the Rockets collecting 199 points for Kelowna in 252 games. Franko is attending Mount Royal University in Calgary as well as playing for their men’s hockey team.
Other Rockets alumni included in this semesters scholarships are: Cody Chikie – Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Mitchell Wheaton – St. Francis Xavier University, Colton Heffley – Dalhousie University, MacKenzie Johnson – University of Saskatchewan, Jordan Cooke – University of Saskatchewan, Cody Fowlie – University of Regina, Jesse Lees – Mount Royal University, Kevin Smith – University of British Columbia, Spencer Main – University of British Columbia, Mitchell Chapman – UBC, Chance Braid – Acadia University.
Including the 14 Rockets there are a total of 355 WHL graduate players have been awarded WHL Scholarships for the fall semester of the 2016-17 academic year. The 355 WHL Scholarships awarded represent the highest total for the fall academic season in WHL history, improving upon a mark set last year.
“The WHL and our member Clubs are very proud to continue offering our players the most comprehensive hockey scholarship program of its kind in North America today,” stated WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “WHL Clubs are fully committed to providing a world class experience for our players which includes the opportunity to pursue both their academic and hockey goals while playing at the top level of the Canadian amateur hockey system.”
This year, 202 of the 355 WHL Scholarship recipients are furthering their education while playing Canadian University hockey at the U Sports level. In Western Canada, 142 of these student-athletes are playing in the Canada West Conference (CWUAA), and have in many cases combined their WHL Scholarship with additional financial assistance from their institution to receive the Western Canada Premier Hockey Scholarship.
WHL Scholarship recipients are enrolled this year as full-time students at 67 different post-secondary institutions throughout North America.
The University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, SK) leads the way with 39 WHL graduates enrolled in full-time studies while 36 former WHL players are registered at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB). The University of British Columbia (26), University of Lethbridge (26), University of Calgary (19), University of Regina (19), University of Manitoba (19), NAIT (18) and Mount Royal University (17) also lead the way in WHL graduate enrollment.
Among the 2016-17 WHL Scholarship recipients, 50 WHL graduates are enrolled at Universities in Eastern Canada with 45 currently playing university hockey in the Ontario and Atlantic Conferences of U Sports. In total, 71 WHL graduates are enrolled at a Canadian College, other post-secondary institution, or in a trade or technical training institution, with 15 grads currently playing hockey in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) or the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL). Nine WHL graduates are attending a post-secondary institution in the United States.
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 $2.0 million to graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship.
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. The WHL Scholarship is a fully-guaranteed academic scholarship with no requirement to play university hockey to qualify, and the student-athlete can apply the funding to any post-secondary or career-enhancing program of his choice, including trade schools and professional career training programs.
In addition, current WHL players also receive financial assistance for enrolling in post-secondary classes while playing in the WHL, many of whom are taking online courses through Athabasca University. The WHL and Athabasca University have partnered to offer, through online and other distance education platforms, fully-accredited university courses to any WHL player interested in further pursuing post-secondary studies while playing in the WHL.
Fully funded by WHL member Clubs, all players currently playing in the WHL are encouraged to enroll in post-secondary courses. The financial assistance received for post-secondary studies while playing does not impact on the WHL Scholarship benefits a WHL player is entitled to upon graduating from the League.
Summary: WHL Scholarships 2016-2017
Canadian Universities, Western Canada – 225
Canadian Universities, Eastern Canada – 50
Canadian Colleges and other institutions – 71
U.S. Colleges, Universities – 9
Total WHL Scholarships – 355
WHL Graduates continuing to play hockey at the elite Canadian University or College level:
Canada West Conference – 142
Ontario University Athletics /Atlantic University Sport Conferences – 45
ACAC / BCIHL – 15
Total – 202