UPDATE: We apologize to former Chief Wyatt Johnson (University of Saskatchewan) for missing him at the original time of this post. There are actually 18 former Chiefs that should be included below!
SPOKANE, Wash. / CALGARY, Alta. – The Spokane Chiefs, in concurrence with the Western Hockey League, announced today that 17 former Chiefs have been awarded WHL Scholarships for the fall semester of the 2016-17 academic year. They are part of a league-record 355 former players taking advantage of WHL Scholarship program, including 202 who are continuing to play competitive hockey at the Canadian university level.
Former Chiefs enrolled at 14 different universities in Canada and the United States, with the University of Alberta leading the way with three (Cole Wedman, Todd Fiddler and Nick Charif). Twelve have continued their playing careers at their respective schools.
Administered by the WHL Office, WHL Scholarships are solely funded by the member Clubs of the WHL. This season, WHL Clubs will contribute in excess of $2.0 million to graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship.
“The WHL and our member Clubs are very proud to continue offering our players the most comprehensive hockey scholarship program of its kind in North America today,” stated WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “WHL Clubs are fully committed to providing a world class experience for our players which includes the opportunity to pursue both their academic and hockey goals while playing at the top level of the Canadian amateur hockey system.”
Every player who plays in the WHL is eligible to receive the WHL Scholarship. For every season a player plays in the WHL, they receive a guaranteed, full-year WHL Scholarship including tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees to a post-secondary institution of their choice. The WHL Scholarship is a fully-guaranteed academic scholarship with no requirement to play university hockey to qualify, and the student-athlete can apply the funding to any post-secondary or career-enhancing program of his choice, including trade schools and professional career training programs.
In addition, current WHL players also receive financial assistance for enrolling in post-secondary classes while playing in the WHL, many of whom are taking online courses through Athabasca University. The WHL and Athabasca University have partnered to offer, through online and other distance education platforms, fully-accredited university courses to any WHL player interested in further pursuing post-secondary studies while playing in the WHL.
Fully funded by WHL member Clubs, all players currently playing in the WHL are encouraged to enroll in post-secondary courses. The financial assistance received for post-secondary studies while playing does not impact on the WHL Scholarship benefits a WHL player is entitled to upon graduating from the League.
Summary: WHL Scholarships 2016-2017
Canadian Universities, Western Canada – 225
Canadian Universities, Eastern Canada – 50
Canadian Colleges and other institutions – 71
U.S. Colleges, Universities – 9
Total WHL Scholarships – 355
WHL Graduates continuing to play hockey at the elite Canadian University or College level:
Canada West Conference – 142
Ontario University Athletics /Atlantic University Sport Conferences – 45
ACAC / BCIHL – 15
Total – 202