WHL Notebook | Gagnon, Beach take home WHL awards
One player who recently ended a distinguished junior career and one just beginning one claimed Western Hockey League awards Wednesday. Aaron Gagnon of the...
Special to The Seattle Times
One player who recently ended a distinguished junior career and one just beginning one claimed Western Hockey League awards Wednesday.
Aaron Gagnon of the Seattle Thunderbirds was named most sportsmanlike player, and Kyle Beach of the Everett Silvertips was named top newcomer in voting by the league's coaches and general managers.
Gagnon was also the Western Conference nominee for league player of the year, won by Kris Russell of Medicine Hat. Gagnon, now on the roster for the Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League, finished his Seattle career with 123 goals and 244 points in 318 games.
Beach became the second Everett player in a row to win the Jim Piggott Trophy as the best newcomer. Peter Mueller won last season.
Beach, 17, finished the regular season with 29 goals and 32 assists in 65 games. The native of Kelowna, B.C., added five goals and 11 points in 11 playoff games.
Beach said the award will give him even more confidence going into next season.
"I'll go into next season with an open mind and set my goals high again and see if I can reach them," he said. "Winning an award like this shows you can play with the best in your age group and that's a great feeling."
• Everett's Zach Hamill picked up the Bob Clarke trophy as the league's top scorer. Hamill had 32 goals and 93 points during the regular season. The Silvertips also won the Scotty Munro Memorial trophy for being the regular season champions with a record of 54-15-1-2.
• Everett coach Kevin Constantine was the Western Conference nominee for coach of the year honors, won by Cory Clouston of the Kootenay Ice.
• Damir Alic, a winger for Everett and a full-time student at the University of Washington, was the conference nominee for scholastic player of the year, won by Keith Aulie of Brandon.
• Medicine Hat's Russell was also selected as the league's top defenseman. Carey Price of the Tri-City Americans was the top goaltender, Kyle Moir of Swift Current was the humanitarian of the year and Bob Tory of the Americans was the top executive.