Zummack named WHL’s most sportsmanlike player

Photo Courtesy of Larry Brunt/Spokane Chiefs Eli Zummack, seen here during the 2019-20 season, was second in scoring for the Spokane Chiefs this year while only serving four penalty minutes.

Graduating Spokane Chiefs forward Eli Zummack received the Brad Hornung Trophy for the most sportsmanlike player in the WHL on Monday afternoon, as the league began their virtual year-end award ceremonies.

The 21-year-old from Kelowna was the captain for the Chiefs this season and was second in team scoring with 22 points in 21 games, while only serving four minutes in penalties.

A second round pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft by the Red Deer Rebels, Zummack was dealt to the Chiefs in January 2016 as part of a deal that saw Adam Helewka join that year’s Memorial Cup hosts.

Zummack, who suited up in 254 regular season games for Spokane and had 239 points, joins fellow Chiefs players Tyler Johnson, Steve Junker and Pat Falloon as winners of the Brad Hornung Trophy.

Kyle Crnkovic of the Saskatoon Blades, Dylan Guenther of the Edmonton Oil Kings and Tarun Fizer of the Victoria Royals were also nominated for the award.

Around the WHL

The Portland Winterhawks made a big move on Monday evening as they landed the rights to 18-year-old Swedish netminder Jesper Wallstedt from the Moose Jaw Warriors in exchange for a sixth round pick in the 2023 WHL Draft.

Wallstedt, who was selected by the Warriors in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, is widely considered to be the best netminder available in next month’s NHL Draft and could be picked in the top ten.

He posted a 12-10-0 record with a 2.23 goals against average, a .908 save percentage and two shutouts for Luela HF in Sweden this past season and also played for his country at the World Juniors.

Sillinger named USHL’s top rookie

Medicine Hat Tigers forward Cole Sillinger was honoured for his impressive play with the Sioux Falls Stampeded this season as he was named the USHL’s rookie of the year on Monday.

After joining the Stampede on loan in January as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sillinger made an immediate impact as he posted 46 points in 31 games to lead the team in scoring.

The 18-year-old from Regina, who is expected to be a first round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, will return to the Tigers next season.

Victoriaville wins QMJHL title

Colorado Avalanche prospect Alex Beaucage found the back of the net just 61 seconds into the double overtime period on Saturday afternoon in Quebec City to give the Victoriaville Tigres their second QMJHL championship with a 3-2 triumph in Game 6 against the Val-d’Or Foreurs.

Netminder Nikolas Hurtubise was the difference maker in the series decider as he made 48 saves for the Tigers, who last won the league title in 2002.

Beaucage led the playoffs in scoring with 25 points, while Tigres overage forward Benjamin Tardif was named playoff MVP after he recorded 22 points.

Currie makes history

Goaltender Taya Currie of Parkhill, Ont. became the first female to be selected in the history of the OHL Draft on Saturday as she was picked in the 14th round by the Sarnia Sting.

The 16-year-old has spent the last seven seasons playing AAA boys hockey for the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs program and was the starting netminder during the last two seasons for the Chiefs’ Under-15 and Under-16 squads.