The WHL Awards Banquet was held in Red Deer Wednesday for the second year. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Prince Albert Raiders win big at WHL Awards Banquet

Coming off a historic season, it was only fitting that the Prince Albert Raiders brought home a big trophy haul from the annual WHL Awards.

It was the second year the awards were handed out in Red Deer at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre after the event moved from Calgary in 2018.

Prince Albert, who won 54 regular season games, including a 19-game streak during the year and of course, swept the Red Deer Rebels in the first round of the WHL Playoffs, were well represented among the winners Wednesday as voted on by GMs, executives and media.

GM Curtis Hunt, the architect of this years’ Raiders group was selected as the WHL Executive of the Year.

Head coach Marc Habscheid joined the 500 win club this season behind the bench and was recognized as the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy winner as coach of the year.

“Just teamwork, caring about one another, communication. Being on the same page and I think we have obviously really good players, but we have even better people and our leadership group is a strong and mature group,” said Habscheid, whose Raiders start the WHL Final Friday on home ice against the Vancouver Giants.

“It’s great for the city. The city hasn’t seen something like this for 34 years. We’re a small market, it gets people in the building and helps our bottom line. Makes us viable… the town is buzzing and it’s a feel-good story.”

Ian Scott, a Calgary native was the backbone of the Raiders this year and for his efforts earned the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy as the league’s top goalie.

“It’s a pretty special feeling to get acknowledged like this. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity without the guys back in P.A., helping me out every night and working,” noted Scott, who had 1.83 goals against average and .932 save percentage along with 38 wins and just eight losses.

Scott, 20, garnered even more attention for his offensive prowess this year, launching a shot into an empty-net on Nov. 16 against the Tri-City Americans.

“Well he’s a good goal scorer, that’s for sure, he can hit the net,” joked Habscheid.

Added Scott: “It was pretty cool, you don’t get that opportunity without good teammates and the coaching staff joking with you.”

Portland Winterhawks forward Joachim Blichfeld was the other big winner on the day, earning the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the WHL Player of the Year and also the Bob Clarke Trophy as the top scorer. The Danish sniper led the Winterhawks with 53 goals and 114 points this year. He is currently in Denmark looking to make the Danish National Team for the 2019 World Men’s Hockey Championships.

Spokane Chiefs blueliner Ty Smith was named defenceman of the year. Smith had seven goals and 62 assists this year, which was fourth among all defenceman in the WHL.

A pair of Moose Jaw Warriors were also honoured, as forward Brayden Tracey got the nod as WHL Rookie of the Year and Justin Almeida collected the Most Sportsmanlike Award. Tracey, a Calgary native in his first WHL campaign, recorded 36 goals and 81 points. He was a first round pick by the Warriors in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.

Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Will Warm collected the WHL Humanitarian of the Year and Everett Silvertips goalie Dustin Wolf picked up the Scholastic Player of the Year nod.

The Portland Winterhawks were the Scholastic Team of the Year, Brett Iverson won his third straight WHL Offical of the Year award and the Silvertips were selected as the WHL Business Award.

Thursday at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre, the WHL Bantam Draft will be held. It is not open to the public but WHL fans can follow along on

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Crews battling an enormous wildfire just outside the… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

OTTAWA — While most Canadians firmly back the Charter of Rights and… Continue reading

Red Deer stamp-collecting event a hit, local club expected to start in fall

Postage stamp-loving Red Deerians can expect to have a place to gather… Continue reading

Red Deer woman one of three arrested by Sundre RCMP

The 19-year-old had numerous arrest warrants out of various jurisdictions

Businessman and volunteer named 2019 Citizen of the Year

John Donald’s parents and sister were each honoured previously

WATCH: Sunnybrook Farm Museum in Red Deer welcomes spring

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating spring in Red Deer. On Saturday, the… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have laid out their proposal for rules… Continue reading

Trump’s trophy day of sumo, golf and cheeseburgers in Japan

TOKYO — President Donald Trump presented a special U.S.-made trophy to the… Continue reading

Two dead, one seriously injured, following explosion in Calgary home’s garage

CALGARY — Police in Calgary say they believe a house fire where… Continue reading

Raptors fans spill onto the streets ahead of potentially historic game

Cars honked, exhilarated fans chanted and long lines formed outside bars and… Continue reading

Stan Lee’s former manager arrested on elder abuse charges

LOS ANGELES — A former business manager of Stan Lee has been… Continue reading

BCUC sets out process for gas and diesel price inquiry, set to wrap Aug. 30

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Utilities Commission says it has set out… Continue reading

Most Read