Record 382 WHL Scholarships awarded to graduate players for 2017-18 academic year

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*WHL record 382 WHL graduates access WHL Scholarships during 2017-18 academic year

*U SPORTS David Johnston University Cup features 60 WHL Alumni competing this weekend in New Brunswick

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today a total of 382 WHL graduate players have been awarded WHL Scholarships for the fall and winter semesters of the 2017-18 academic year. The 382 WHL Scholarships awarded represent the highest fall and winter total in WHL history, improving upon the mark of 374 set during the 2016-17 academic season.

This weekend, 68 WHL Alumni will compete for U SPORTS supremacy at the 2018 David Johnston University Cup in Fredericton, N.B. The WHL is represented with graduate players on seven of the eight team rosters competing in the tournament. All tournament games, including the bronze medal game, will air on USPORTS.LIVE. Semifinal action will be broadcast on Sportsnet 360 (12 p.m. AT & 4 p.m. AT). The action closes on Sunday, March 18 with the gold medal final, live on Sportsnet 360 (2 p.m. AT). For more information on the 2018 U SPORTS David Johnston University Cup, please visit

This year, 183 of the 382 WHL Scholarship recipients are furthering their education while playing Canadian University hockey at the U SPORTS level. In Western Canada, 133 of these student-athletes are playing in Canada West (CW), and have in many cases combined their WHL Scholarship with additional financial assistance from their university in Western Canada to receive the Western Canada Premier Hockey Scholarship.

Representing Canada West at the 2018 David Johnston University Cup are the Canada West Champion University of Alberta Golden Bears and University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

The University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Sask.) leads all post-secondary institutions with 38 WHL graduates enrolled in full-time studies, while 34 former WHL players are registered at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alta.). The University of British Columbia (31), University of Lethbridge (25), University of Calgary (24), University of Manitoba (19), University of Regina (19) and Mount Royal University (17) also lead the way in WHL graduate enrollment.

WHL Scholarship recipients are enrolled this year as full-time students at 78 different post-secondary institutions through North America.




Hockey Alberta leads all Western Canada branches, having produced 162 WHL graduates currently accessing their WHL Scholarship. BC Hockey (83), the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (75) and Hockey Manitoba (34) are also leaders, with Hockey North (Northwest Territories and Nunavut) and Hockey Yukon combining to produce two WHL Scholarship recipients. A total of 26 players from USA Hockey are also accessing their WHL Scholarship.

Among the 2017-18 WHL Scholarship recipients, 59 WHL graduates are enrolled at universities in Eastern Canada, with 50 playing U SPORTS hockey at the Ontario University Athletics or Atlantic University Sport level. In total, 66 WHL graduates are enrolled at a Canadian College, other post-secondary institution, or in a trades or technical training institution, with 30 WHL graduates playing hockey in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) or the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL). Additionally, 15 WHL graduates are attending post-second institutions 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 $2.5 million to graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship.

“The WHL and all our member Clubs are delighted that a record number of WHL graduate players are taking advantage and utilizing their WHL Scholarship this year,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “The WHL Scholarship not only allows our players to pursue their academic goals at a post-secondary institution of their choice, but also provides the opportunity to continue playing amateur hockey at a very high level in the Canadian University system.”

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 trades schools and professional career training programs.

In addition, current WHL players also receive financial assistance for enrolling 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.

CLICK HERE for a detailed list of 2017-18 WHL Scholarship recipients

WHL Graduates competing at the 2018 U SPORTS David Johnston University Cup: 

University of Alberta Golden Bears – WHL Alumni (25)
Player – Position – Hometown – Last WHL Club

Stephane Legault – Forward – Edmonton, Alta. – Edmonton Oil Kings
Jamie Crooks – Forward – Vermilion, Alta. – Victoria Royals
Taylor Cooper – Forward – Sherwood Park, Alta. – Regina Pats
Luke Philp – Forward – Canmore, Alta. – Red Deer Rebels
Steven Owre – Forward – Rocklin, Calif. – Medicine Hat Tigers
Riley Kieser – Forward – Edmonton, Alta. – Edmonton Oil Kings
Jayden Hart – Forward – Fort McMurray, Alta. –  Prince Albert Raiders
Tyson Baillie – Forward – Edmonton, Alta. – Kelowna Rockets
Brandon Magee – Forward – Edmonton, Alta. – Victoria Royals
Cole Sanford – Forward – Vernon, B.C. – Regina Pats
Trevor Cox – Forward – Surrey, B.C. – Vancouver Giants
Lucas Nickles – Forward – Salmon Arm, B.C. – Tri-City Americans
Cole Linaker – Forward – Edmonton, Alta. – Kelowna Rockets
Clayton Kirichenko – Defenceman – Sherwood Park, Alta. – Medicine Hat Tigers
Jason Fram – Defenceman – Vancouver, B.C. – Spokane Chiefs
Graeme Craig – Defenceman – Red Deer, Alta. – Prince Albert Raiders
Sawyer Lange – Defenceman – Prince Albert, Sask. – Prince Albert Raiders
Ryan Rehill – Defenceman – Edmonton, Alta. – Kamloops Blazers
Ben Carroll – Defenceman – Sherwood Park, Alta. – Edmonton Oil Kings
Wil Tomchuk – Defenceman – Fort McMurray, Alta. – Prince George Cougars
Dylan Bredo – Defenceman – Edmonton, Alta. – Medicine Hat Tigers
Nick Charif – Defenceman – Edmonton, Alta. – Spokane Chiefs
Brendan Burke – Goaltender – Scottsdale, Ariz. – Calgary Hitmen
Kenny Cameron – Goaltender – Calgary, Alta. – Medicine Hat Tigers
Zachary Sawchenko – Goaltender – Calgary, Alta. – Moose Jaw Warriors

University of Saskatchewan Huskies – WHL Alumni (24)
Player – Position – Hometown – Last WHL Club

Jordan Tkatch – Forward – Prudhomme, Sask. – Prince Albert Raiders
Levi Cable – Forward – Hudson Bay, Sask. – Kootenay ICE
Collin Shirley – Forward – Saskatoon, Sask. – Kamloops Blazers
Connor Gay – Forward – Saskatoon, Sask. – Saskatoon Blades
Carter Folk – Forward – Regina, Sask. – Victoria Royals
Logan McVeigh – Forward – Kenaston, Sask. – Kamloops Blazers
Michael Sofillas – Forward – Morden, Man. – Lethbridge Hurricanes
Carson Stadnyk – Forward – Saskatoon, Sask. – Everett Silvertips
Jaimen Yakubowski – Forward – Dalmeny, Sask. – Moose Jaw Warriors
Kohl Bauml – Forward – Saskatoon, Sask. – Everett Silvertips
Andrew Johnson – Forward – Saskatoon, Sask. – Swift Current Broncos
Wyatt Johnson – Forward – Saskatoon, Sask. – Spokane Chiefs
John Lawrence – Forward – Newdale, Man. – Calgary Hitmen
Alex Forsberg – Forward – Waldheim, Sask. – Victoria Royals
Kendall McFaull – Defenceman – Rosetown, Sask. – Moose Jaw Warriors
Connor Cox – Defenceman – Lethbridge, Alta. – Everett Silvertips
Colby Harmsworth – Defenceman – Saskatoon, Sask. – Calgary Hitmen
Jesse Forsberg – Defenceman – Waldheim, Sask. – Moose Jaw Warriors
Jordan Fransoo – Defenceman – North Battleford, Sask. – Victoria Royals
Tanner Lishchynsky – Defenceman – Saskatoon, Sask. – Kootenay ICE
Sam Ruopp – Defenceman – Regina, Sask. – Prince George Cougars
MacKenzie Johnston – Defenceman – Swift Current, Sask. – Saskatoon Blades
Taran Kozun – Goaltender – Nipawin, Sask. – Seattle Thunderbirds
Jordon Cooke – Goaltender – Leduc, Alta. – Kelowna Rockets

St. Francis Xavier University X-Men – WHL Alumni (4)
Player – Position – Hometown – Last WHL Club

Jagger Dirk – Defenceman – Penticton, B.C. – Kootenay ICE
Mitchell Wheaton – Defenceman – Sherwood Park, Alta. – Saskatoon Blades
Matt Needham – Forward – Penticton, B.C. – Kamloops Blazers
Cole MacDonald – Forward – Wetaskawin, Alta. – Everett Silvertips

Brock University Badgers – WHL Alumni (3)
Player – Position – Hometown – Last WHL Club

Evan Morden – Defenceman – Swan River, Man. – Prince Albert Raiders
Nathan Looysen – Forward – Saanich, B.C. – Kamloops Blazers
Adam Beukeboom – Goaltender – Sundre, Alta. – Prince George Cougars

University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds – WHL Alumni (3)
Player – Position – Hometown – Last WHL Club

Luke Lee-Knight – Goaltender – Calgary, Alta. – Tri-City Americans
Dylan Willick – Forward – Prince George, B.C. – Kamloops Blazers
Rylan Parenteau – Goaltender – Saskatoon, Sask. – Tri-City Americans

Acadia University Axemen – WHL Alumni (8)
Player – Position – Hometown – Last WHL Club

Michael Zipp – Defenceman – Edmonton, Alta. – Calgary Hitmen
Rodney Southam – Forward – Saskatoon, Sask. – Kelowna Rockets
Sam Fioretti – Forward – Calgary, Alta. – Moose Jaw Warriors
Boston Leier – Forward – Saskatoon, Sask. – Regina Pats
Matthew Pufahl – Defenceman – Saskatoon, Sask. – Everett Silvertips
Marc McNulty – Defenceman – Medicine Hat, Alta. – Moose Jaw Warriors
Chance Braid – Forward – Wainwright, Alta. – Kelowna Rockets
Jackson Houck – Forward – North Vancouver, B.C. – Calgary Hitmen

 McGill University Redmen – WHL Alumni (1)
Player – Position – Hometown – Last WHL Club

Keanu Yamamoto – Forward – Spokane, Wash. – Spokane Chiefs

Summary: WHL Scholarships 2017– 2018
Canadian Universities, Western Canada – 242
Canadian Universities, Eastern Canada – 59
Canadian Colleges and other institutions – 66
U.S. Colleges, Universities – 15
Total –  WHL Graduate Scholarships – 382

WHL Graduates continuing to play hockey at the elite Canadian University or College level:
Canada West Conference – 133
Ontario University Athletics /Atlantic University Sport Conferences – 50
Total – 213

Branch Summary: WHL Scholarships 2017-18

British Columbia – 83
Alberta – 162
Saskatchewan – 75
Manitoba – 34
North West Territories / Yukon – 2
USA – 26
Totals – 382

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

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