Jason Fram Wins Canada West’s Defenseman of the Year Award

WHL Network
Gary Peterson

Former Spokane Chiefs defenseman and team captain Jason Fram is among the Canada West 2017-18 men’s hockey award winners, as announced on Wednesday. Fram, who ranks 10th in Chiefs franchise history with 308 regular season games played, was named the recipient of the Defenseman of the Year Award.

The South Delta, B.C. native racked up 201 points in 346 total games – including 38 playoff games – during his Spokane Chiefs career. He served as team captain for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, marking just the fifth Chief to wear the “C” for multiple seasons (current captain Tyson Helgesen has since become the sixth).

With the University of Alberta this season, Fram piled up nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points in 28 games to go along with a conference-best +25 rating.

From the Western Hockey League’s announcement:

Edmonton, Alta. – With a seventh consecutive meeting in the Canada West Men’s Hockey Final slated for this weekend in Edmonton, the Alberta Golden Bears and Saskatchewan Huskies dominated the CW major awards announced Wednesday.

All but one of the conference’s major awards was earned by Alberta or Saskatchewan, as the awards were highlighted by Alberta’s Luke Philp claiming the CW Player of the Year award, while Saskatchewan’s Jordon Cooke won an unprecedented third consecutive CW Goaltender of the Year award.

Philp, who played 309 games over more than five seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL), earned the conference’s top honour by leading CW in scoring with 40 points in 28 games for the first-place Bears.

Meanwhile in the crease, Cooke was a rock yet again for Saskatchewan to earn the top goalie honour. The former Kelowna Rocket earned 16 wins and posted a .920 SV% – tops among goalies with at least 1,000 minutes played this season. The Leduc, Alta product is the first goalie to win the award three consecutive times since it was first awarded during the 2009-10 season and is now looking to defend his U SPORTS Goalie of the Year title from 2016-17.

The only person stopping a Bears-Huskies sweep of the awards was UBC Thunderbirds head coach Sven Butenschon. A WHL graduate himself after playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings (1993-96), Butenschon is the CW Coach of the Year after leading UBC to a 16-10-2 record and a home playoff date for just the second time in nearly 50 years.

Other award winners included: Jason Fram (Alberta – Defenceman of the Year), Steven Owre (Alberta – Rookie of the Year), Josh Roach (Saskatchewan – Sportsmanship and Ability), and Kendall McFaull (Saskatchewan – Student-Athlete Community Service).

All award winners now move on as the CW nominees for the national awards, which will be handed out in two weeks at the University Cup in Fredericton, N.B. (March 15-18).

You can watch the Bears-Huskies in the best-of-three CW final by tuning into Canada West TV – the official streaming home of every conference men’s hockey game.

For a complete look at the CW final schedule, click here.

NOTE: The CW awards were selected by the conference’s eight men’s hockey head coaches.



Player of the Year

Dave “Sweeney” Schriner Trophy (CW leading scorer)

F – Luke Philp, Alberta Golden Bears


Canmore, Alta.

Native Studies

2017-18 CW regular season: 28 GP / 11G–29A–40Pts.

WHL totals: 309 GP / 119 G – 173 A – 292 Pts. / Kootenay Ice, Red Deer Rebels

In just his second season, Luke Philp has been named the conference’s top player after leading Canada West in scoring with 40 points in 28 games (awarded the Dave “Sweeney” Schriner Trophy as CW leading scorer). A veteran of more than 300 games in the WHL, Philp posted 11 goals and 29 assists for the Bears, who led the conference with a 23-4-1 record.

Nationally, Philp was one of just six players to finish with 40 points or more during the regular season.

The Canmore, Alta. product has carried over the scoring prowess he showed in junior while playing with the Kootenay Ice and Red Deer Rebels, where he combined for 292 points – including 41 in 45 playoff games – over his five-plus seasons in the WHL.

Philp is the first Bear to win the conference’s top individual honour since T.J. Foster, who captured the award during the 2014-15 season, and is now vying for the national player of the year award – the Sullivan Trophy.

“Luke has had a tremendous season and is very deserving of this recognition. He has continued to work hard at improving his game, and what is especially impressive is the consistently high level of compete he brings every time he steps on the ice for games or practices.” – Serge Lajoie, Alberta head coach.


Goaltender of the Year

G – Jordon Cooke, Saskatchewan Huskies


Leduc, Alta.

Arts & Science

2017-18 CW regular season: 23GP / 16-7 / .920 SV% / 2.29 GAA / 3 SO

WHL totals: 174 GP / 105 wins, .914 SV%, 10 shutouts / Kelowna Rockets

For the third consecutive season, Saskatchewan’s Jordon Cooke has been named the CW Goaltender of the Year. Quite simply, Cooke has cemented himself as one of the best netminders in conference history, as his 59 career regular season wins is the fifth most in the CW record book, while his 10 career regular season shutouts is tied for third all-time.

Cooke, who played his entire WHL career with the Kelowna Rockets, posted a 16-7 record this season with a .920 SV% and 2.29 GAA – both of which were tops among goalies with at least 1,000 minutes played.

Cooke is the two-time reigning U SPORTS Goalie of the Year, and was also named CW Player of the Year in 2015-16.

Over the last five seasons – including 2017-18 – Cooke has a total of seven goalie of the year awards to his credit, as he was the WHL Goalie of the Year and CHL Goalie of the Year during his final season of junior (2013-14).

“Jordon proved once again why is he is considered one of the best goaltenders to ever play university hockey. He works hard, is a professional and puts us in a place to win each game. We are very fortunate to have him in a Huskies uniform.” – Dave Adolph, Saskatchewan head coach.


Defenceman of the Year (Mervyn “Red” Dutton Trophy)

D – Jason Fram, Alberta Golden Bears


Delta, B.C.


2017-18 CW regular season: 28 GP / 9G–14A–23 Pts.

WHL totals: 346 GP / 35 G – 166 A – 210 Pts. / Spokane Chiefs

The Mervyn “Red” Dutton Trophy winner as the conference’s top defenceman is Alberta’s Jason Fram. The second-year Arts student finished third in conference scoring among defenceman with 23 points in 28 games (9 G – 14 A).

His plus-25 rating was the best in Canada West, as he played a pivotal role in Alberta’s first-place finish during the regular season.

Fram played more than 300 games in the WHL before joining the Bears, completing his entire junior career with the Spokane Chiefs, where he accumulated 210 combined points.

“I really like how Jason’s game has evolved over the course of this season. He has become a very well rounded defenceman who plays in every key situation for us. He has excellent poise with the puck and his decisions on transition are high level. It is great for Jason to be recognized for the excellent season he is having.” – Serge Lajoie, Alberta head coach.


Rookie of the Year (U of A Hockey Alumni Trophy)

F – Steven Owre, Alberta Golden Bears


Rocklin, Calif.

Native Studies

2017-18 CW regular season: 28 GP / 17G–11A–28 Pts.

WHL totals: 323 GP / 86 G – 159 A – 245 Pts. / Medicine Hat Tigers

For the second straight season, an Alberta Golden Bear takes home the U of A Hockey Alumni Trophy as the CW Rookie of the Year. Forward Steven Owre joins teammate Tyson Baillie – last year’s winner – on the prestigious list of top rookies.

Owre finished first among conference first-year players in points this season with 28 in as many games, but more impressively was the Canada West goal scoring king with 17 goals.

“Steven came into the season and literally earned every opportunity to play a big role on our team. His versatility has made him a valuable contributor to our success so far this season. To be chosen for this award among all the excellent first-year players across the league is quite the accomplishment for Steven and is well deserved.” – Serge Lajoie, Alberta head coach.


Sportsmanship and Ability (UBC Hockey Alumni Trophy)

F – Josh Roach, Saskatchewan Huskies


Saskatoon, Sask.


2017-18 CW regular season: 27 GP / 13G–24A–37Pts.

Veteran forward Josh Roach has taken home the CW Sportsmanship and Ability award after finishing second in conference scoring with 37 points in 27 games for the Saskatchewan Huskies.

Roach enjoyed the best offensive season of his five-year CW career, surpassing his 26-point season from 2016-17.

His plus-19 rating was the best of any skater outside of Alberta, while his 13 goals were tied for fourth in the conference.

“Finding quality five-year student-athletes is the key to most team’s success in the Canada West and we had that with Josh. He kept getting better in the classroom and on the ice each and every year. A quality recruit from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Josh has made our team better with his competitive drive and his willingness to improve every year. He is the perfect representative for what this league is about.” – Dave Adolph, Saskatchewan head coach.


Student-Athlete Community Service Award (Randy Gregg Award nominee)

D – Kendall McFaull, Saskatchewan Huskies


Rosetown, Sask.

Mechanical Engineering

2017-18 CW regular season: 27 GP / 4 G – 5 A – 9 Pts.

WHL totals: 294 GP / 17G–45A–62 Pts. / Moose Jaw Warriors

A Canada West all-rookie or all-star every one of his five seasons, Kendall McFaull has come to epitomize what it means to be a student-athlete. The Engineering student established himself as one of the toughest defenceman to play against during his CW career, playing in 139 regular season games over the last five seasons.

A four-year captain of the Huskies, McFaull has spent time off the ice volunteering for various organizations including: Huskie Athletes Academic Council, Huskie Homeroom, Saskatoon Minor Hockey, and Recess Guardians – a program which helps elementary students learn to interact and develop leadership skills through games and social interaction.

In the classroom, McFaull is set to graduate with an engineering degree, and entered his final semester with an average of 88 per cent during the current academic year.

“Our captain Kendall McFaull has all the ingredients to be successful in life. Kendall has routinely been considered one of the top defenceman in university hockey, has continually been strong academically and gives back to the community. He is an impeccably mature young man who will continue to reach great heights and follows in a long line of former Huskies who have won this award before him.” – Dave Adolph, Saskatchewan head coach.


Coach of the Year

Sven Butenschon, UBC Thunderbirds

2 seasons

Itzehoe, Germany

2017-18 CW regular season record: 16-10-2 (fourth CW)

WHL experience: 202 GP / 10G–75A–85 Pts. / Brandon Wheat Kings

In just his second season leading the UBC Thunderbirds, Sven Butenschon has been named the CW Coach of the Year.

The former Brandon Wheat King, Vancouver Canuck, and German Olympian guided UBC to a 16-10-2 record this season, helping the T-Birds secure just their second home playoff series since 1971.

Butenschon, who posted a 12-13-3 record during his first season in 2016-17, is the first UBC head coach to win the conference award since Milan Dragicevic claimed the honour during the 2011-12 season.

He is looking to become the first coach in UBC men’s hockey history to earn the national award – the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award – when U SPORTS hosts its annual awards gala in two weeks at the University Cup in Fredericton, N.B.

“We are very impressed with Sven’s development as a head coach. He is open to new ideas and inclusion of sports science in a sport where traditions hold strong. His passion and commitment has shown in the program’s continued development. We are very proud to see Sven recognized for his dedication and leadership.” – Gilles Lepine, UBC Senior Athletics Director.

Other CW awards:
Adam Kryczka Memorial Trophy – lowest team GAA

2.14, Alberta Golden Bears – Brendan Burke & Zach Sawchenko
The Fair Play Trophy – fewest team penalty minutes
312 – Mount Royal Cougars

About Canada West:
Canada West (CW) is the leading university athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel in the classroom and their communities. Canada West and our 17 members from across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba collectively carry on a legacy of competitive excellence, as our champions proudly go on to represent the conference at U SPORTS national championships.

Canada West – training leaders, building champions

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 350 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.


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