WHL names Division nominees for Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today the 2021-22 Division nominees for the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy presented by McSweeney’s, awarded annually to the WHL Rookie of the Year.
WHL Division Awards 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 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
WHL Rookie of the Year Nominee Biographies
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.
Defenceman Kevin Korchinski (Seattle Thunderbirds): Ranked #20 among North American Skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Season Rankings, 17-year-old Kevin Korchinski finished second among WHL defencemen in assists (61) as part of a 65-point 2021-22 Regular Season. The product of Saskatoon, Sask. became the first draft-eligible blueliner in the WHL to amass 60 or more helpers in a season in 30 years, all while finishing second among Seattle skaters with 28 power-play points. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound blueliner has appeared in 91 regular season games with the Thunderbirds, recording 75 points (4G-71A).
Defenceman Owen Pickering (Swift Current Broncos): Rated as the #21 North American Skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Season Rankings, the 6-foot-5, 178-pound Pickering registered 33 points (9G-24A) over 62 Regular Season outings with Swift Current. The 18-year-old is one of seven Broncos set to appear in the upcoming 2022 IIHF U18 World Championship in Germany: the product of St. Adolphe, Man. also featured at the 2022 Kubota CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game this past March. In 85 career WHL games, all with the Broncos, Pickering has tallied 42 points (11G-31A).
Forward Brayden Yager (Moose Jaw Warriors): Yager, from Saskatoon, Sask., set a new Warriors franchise mark for goals by a 16-year-old, finishing the 2021-22 Regular Season with 34 tallies and 59 points. The 6-foot-0, 161-pound centre, who was one of six 2005-born skaters to record 50 or more points during the 2021-22 WHL Regular Season, enjoyed a pair of hat-tricks including in Moose Jaw’s season-opener October 1, 2021. Yager was selected by the Warriors with the third-overall pick in the 2020 WHL Draft, and has amassed 77 points (41G-36A) in 87 games with Moose Jaw.
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 375 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.