SPOKANE, Wash. – Eight different players were recognized by the Spokane Chiefs in a ceremony prior to their regular season home finale versus the Tri-City Americans on Friday night at Spokane Arena. Kailer Yamamoto was named the Chiefs’ Player of the Year while defenseman Ty Smith earned a pair of honors.
Despite playing in only 40 of the Chiefs’ 69 games entering Friday, Yamamoto ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 64 points, including 21 goals and 43 assists. His 1.60 points per game are sixth in the WHL. The 19-year-old spent the first portion of the season playing for the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL and he missed 10 games during December and January while he helped the United States to a bronze medal finish in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. In one stretch this season, Yamamoto had an 11-game point scoring streak where he scored nine goals and recorded 27 points. Coming into Friday’s game, Yamamoto is tied with Greg Leeb (1994-98) for sixth all-time in franchise history with 291 points and equal with Mitch Wahl (2006-10) with 186 assists.
Smith was recognized as the John “Hitman” Hern Defenseman of the Year and the Scholastic Player of the Year. The second-year blueliner has 14 goals, 59 assists and 73 points. His assist total is the third-most by a defenseman in Chiefs’ history and his 73 points are one away from the top five. Smith is also sixth in the WHL with a team-high +45 rating. In the classroom, Smith had an average of 87% in Anatomy and Physiology, Advanced Placement Statistics and College Prep English during the first semester. During the last two seasons at Ferris High School, he has recorded an average of 88% in his academic core subjects of English, Math and Science. He is the first Chiefs player to receive the scholastic award more than once.
Defenseman Tyson Helgesen was named the Players’ Player, an honor chosen by the team. The two-year captain has appeared in 204-straight games, including 69 this season, has tied his career highs in points with 29 and is a career-best +20. The 20-year-old is in his fourth season as a Chief and has played 260 games.
Filip Kral, an 18-year-old from the Czech Republic, was named the Rookie of the Year. The defenseman has eight goals, 23 assists and 31 points in 51 games.
For the second season in a row, Eli Zummack was named the Ken Rabel Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year. The 17-year-old has been whistled for just two minor penalties in 55 games this season while tallying 14 goals and 37 points. Zummack has only 10 career penalty minutes in 105 games.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan was named the Chiefs’ Humanitarian of the Year. Anderson-Dolan has been a role model in the Spokane community, showing strong leadership both on and off the ice. Beyond a variety of visits to speak to, play with and inspire children at local grade schools and hospitals, Anderson-Dolan spearheaded the Chiefs’ involvement in supporting the NHL’s “Hockey is for Everyone” campaign in February.
Eighteen-year-old Ethan McIndoe and 19-year-old Jeff Faith were both given Unsung Hero awards for their efforts throughout the season. McIndoe, in his third season as a Chief, has a career-high 21 goals and 41 points. Faith has played both forward and defense this season and scored five goals, 16 points and 53 penalty minutes.
SPOKANE CHIEFS 2017-18 AWARDS WINNERS
- Player of the Year – Kailer Yamamoto
- John “Hitman” Hern Defenseman of the Year – Ty Smith
- Rookie of the Year – Filip Kral
- Ken Rabel Most Sportsmanlike Player – Eli Zummack
- Humanitarian of the Year – Jaret Anderson-Dolan
- Players’ Player – Tyson Helgesen
- Unsung Hero – Ethan McIndoe
- Unsung Hero – Jeff Faith
- Scholastic Player of the Year – Ty Smith