Seven Rockets earn BC Division honours
The Western Hockey League announced yesterday the 2022 WHL Division Awards, which included seven Rockets staff members and players.
Off of the ice, Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton was named the 2021-22 BC Division Executive of the Year. Behind the bench, Head coach Kris Mallette was named the Coach of the Year. Andrew Cristall, the eighth overall pick from the 2020 WHL Draft, was named the BC Divison Rookie of the Year after putting together a remarkable rookie campaign.
Forward Colton Dach and defenceman Jake Lee were named to the BC Division First All-Star Team, while forward Pavel Novak and goaltender Talyn Boyko were awarded spots on the BC Division Second All-Star Team.
WHL Executive of the Year Nominees
B.C. Division – Bruce Hamilton – Kelowna Rockets
Central Division – Brent Sutter – Red Deer Rebels
East Division – Matt Cockell – Winnipeg ICE
U.S. Division – Bil La Forge – Seattle Thunderbirds
Bruce Hamilton (Kelowna Rockets): The Kelowna Rockets logged their seventh 40-win season in the past ten years, and under Hamilton’s guidance enter the WHL playoffs as the second-place Club in the B.C. Division. Hamilton added a pair of NHL prospects in forward Colton Dach and goaltender Talyn Boyko over the course of the campaign, also helping usher along the future in 16-year-old Andrew Cristall, who set a franchise record for players of his age with 28 goals during the Regular Season.
WHL Coach of the Year Nominees
B.C. Division – Kris Mallette – Kelowna Rockets
Central Division – Steve Konowalchuk – Red Deer Rebels
East Division – James Patrick – Winnipeg ICE
U.S. Division – Dennis Williams – Everett Silvertips
Kris Mallette (Kelowna Rockets): Mallette helped the Kelowna Rockets to a second-place finish in the B.C. Division during the 2021-22 Regular Season, completing the campaign with a 42-20-1-5 record. Mallette’s group became the seventh Rockets team in the past ten seasons to finish with 90 or more Regular Season points. Mallette, who suited up with Kelowna during his WHL playing career, improved his WHL coaching record to 62-27-10.
WHL Rookie of the Year Nominees
B.C. Division – Andrew Cristall (Burnaby, B.C.) – Kelowna Rockets
Central Division – Owen Pickering (St. Adolphe, Man.) – Swift Current Broncos
East Division – Brayden Yager (Saskatoon, Sask.) – Moose Jaw Warriors
U.S. Division – Kevin Korchinski (Saskatoon, Sask.) – Seattle Thunderbirds
Forward Andrew Cristall (Kelowna Rockets): Cristall set a Kelowna Rockets franchise record by scoring 28 goals in his 16-year-old season, all part of a 69-point campaign that saw the Burnaby, B.C. product finish third in Club scoring. The 5-foot-9, 149-pound winger registered three or more points on nine occasions during the 2021-22 Regular Season including a five-point effort April 9, 2022. Cristall, the eighth-overall selection in the 2020 WHL Draft, has tallied 74 points (30G-44A) in 75 career games with Kelowna.
WHL B.C. Division First All-Star Team
Goaltender – Dylan Garand (Victoria, B.C.) – Kamloops Blazers
Defenceman – Gannon Laroque (Edmonton, Alta.) – Victoria Royals
Defenceman – Jake Lee (Sherwood Park, Alta.) – Kelowna Rockets
Forward – Colton Dach (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) – Kelowna Rockets
Forward – Bailey Peach (Falmouth, N.S.) – Victoria Royals
Forward – Logan Stankoven (Kamloops, B.C.) – Kamloops Blazers
Defenceman Jake Lee (Kelowna Rockets): 20-year-old Jake Lee led all Kelowna Rockets defencemen in scoring during the 2021-22 Regular Season with 46 points (16G-30A), setting career bests in every major offensive category including a +23 rating. The product of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. enjoyed a nine-game point streak between December 10, 2021 and January 8, 2022. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound rearguard has put up a total of 120 points (31G-89A) in 277 regular season appearances with Seattle and Kelowna.
Forward Colton Dach (Kelowna Rockets): Chicago Blackhawks prospect Colton Dach led the Kelowna Rockets in scoring in his first season with the Club, finishing the 2021-22 Regular Season with 79 points (29G-50A). The 6-foot-4, 205-pound forward also finished with a share of the team lead in power-play markers with nine. The 19-year-old, who hails from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., has totalled 128 points (51G-77A) in 143 career regular season games with Saskatoon and Kelowna.
WHL B.C. Division Second All-Star Team
Goaltender – Talyn Boyko (Drumheller, Alta.) – Kelowna Rockets
Defenceman – Ethan Samson (Delta, B.C.) – Prince George Cougars
Defenceman – Quinn Schmiemann (Wilcox, Sask.) – Kamloops Blazers
Forward – Tarun Fizer (Chestermere, Alta.) – Victoria Royals
Forward – Pavel Novak (Tabor, Czechia) – Kelowna Rockets
Forward – Luke Toporowski (Bettendorf, Iowa) – Kamloops Blazers
Goaltender Talyn Boyko (Kelowna Rockets): Boyko made 46 of his 54 appearances this season with the Kelowna Rockets following a mid-season trade from the Tri-City Americans, posting a 29-18-2-3 record, 3.03 goals-against average and .908 save percentage along the way. The product of Drumheller, Alta. made 38 or more saves on eight occasions during the 2021-22 Regular Season, compiling a 6-1-1-0 record from those eight contests. The 6-foot-7, 200-pound New York Rangers prospect holds a career 43-43-3-5 record, 3.56 GAA, .899 SV% and three shutouts over 102 regular season games with the Americans and Rockets.
Forward Pavel Novak (Kelowna Rockets): Novak finished tied for the Club lead with 29 goals, and ended the 2021-22 Regular Season second among Rockets skaters with 72 points. The Minnesota Wild prospect, and product of Tabor, Czechia posted five multi-goal games including a pair of hat-tricks October 30, 2021 and February 12, 2022. The 20-year-old, who stands 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, has recorded 25 or more goals in each of his two WHL campaigns with Kelowna, totalling 130 points (54G-76A) over 117 regular season appearances.
WHL Division Awards and WHL Division All-Stars are voted upon by General Managers.
All individual WHL Division Award winners will be eligible for the overall WHL Awards, to be announced June 1, 2022.
WHL Playoff hockey is back in Kelowna for the first time since 2018! Cheer on the Kelowna Rockets in round one as they take on the Seattle Thunderbirds, tickets for home games one (Tuesday, April 26) and two (Wednesday, April 27) are now on sale at Select Your Tickets.
Fans can purchase their tickets online at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050. The box office is open 11:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and opens at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday home game days.