The Western Hockey League announced its Western Conference All-Stars and award nominees Wednesday, with General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston the conference’s Executive of the Year, Sven Bartschi the conference’s Rookie of the Year and Ryan Johansen named to the conference’s First All-Star team.
As the Western Conference Executive of the Year, Johnston is nominated for the Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy for WHL Executive of the Year. The WHL will announce the Eastern Conference nominee tomorrow. Johnston led the Winterhawks to a first place finish in the U.S. Division and Western Conference with a record of 50-19-0-3 for 103 points, the most points and wins by a Winterhawks team since the 1997-98 Memorial Cup championship team. He was nominated for the award by vote by Western Conference general managers and head coaches. Johnston is looking to be the first Winterhawks executive to earn the award since Ken Hodge in the 1997-98 season.
As the Western Conference Rookie of the Year, Bartschi is nominated for the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy for WHL Rookie of the Year. Bartschi led all WHL rookies in goals (34), assists (51), points (85) and power play goals (11), while finishing second among rookies in game-winning goals (5) and third in plus/minus (+23). Bartschi is the highest-scoring Winterhawks rookie since Marian Hossa also had 85 points in the 1997-98 season. The last Winterhawk to win the WHL Rookie of the Year award was Braydon Coburn in the 2001-02 season.
Bartschi and Johnston will find out if they are the WHL award winners at the league’s awards luncheon in Calgary, Alberta on Wednesday, May 4.
In addition, Ryan Johansen was named to the Western Conference First All-Star Team after posting 40 goals and 52 assists for 92 points in 63 games, ranking seventh overall in league scoring. It was the most points by a Winterhawks player since Josef Balej also had 92 in the 2001-02 season. Johansen was named team MVP by his teammates, and won a silver medal representing Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship. He was drafted fourth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in last year’s NHL Draft.
Tickets to Game 1 and Game 2 are available now at ticketmaster.com, the Rose Quarter box office and the Winterhawks’ ticket office in the Memorial Coliseum. In addition, playoff packages and group tickets for the playoffs are available by calling 503-236-HAWK. Tickets to Game 5 can be purchased by calling the Winterhawks’ ticket office at 503-236-HAWK.