Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today the Academic Spotlight for February, featuring the U.S. Division. Academic achievers recognized this month include goaltender Dustin Wolf of the Everett Silvertips, forward Cross Hanas of the Portland Winterhawks, goaltender Cole Schwebius of the Seattle Thunderbirds, forward Jack Finley of the Spokane Chiefs, and defenceman Bryan McAndrews of the Tri-City Americans.
During the months of November through February, each of the WHL’s 22 member Clubs will name an Academic Achiever, as selected by the Club’s Education Advisor. Each month, one WHL Division will have its Academic Achievers celebrated in the Academic Spotlight:
Academic Spotlight Schedule
November – B.C. Division
December – East Division
January – Central Division
February – U.S. Division
WHL players recognized as Academic Achievers are observed as those striving to reach their full potential in their educational programs while balancing WHL commitments.
Dustin Wolf, Everett Silvertips: On the division-leading Silvertips, the 17-year-old Wolf is also a leader in his academic studies as he attends the National University Virtual Program. With the help of Education Coordinator Darren Parsons, Wolf is succeeding with combining the rigors of hockey to his high educational goals.
“He is a very committed and focused young man in all he undertakes,” said Silvertips General Manager Garry Davidson.
The Tustin, Calif. product has continued the Silvertips’ legacy of strong goaltending with a 41-15-2-1 record, 1.69 goals-against-average, .936 save percentage, and seven shutouts this season. He ranks first in wins, GAA, and SV% among WHL goaltenders and is second in shutouts. Wolf is a five-time winner of the WHL On the Run Player of the Week Award and was named the WHL Vaughn Goaltender of the Month for December 2018.
Cross Hanas, Portland Winterhawks: The 17-year-old Hanas is playing a strong role as a rookie on the Winterhawks while also maintaining his responsibilities in the classroom. Attending Grade 11 at Sunset High School, Hanas is excelling in English 11, Advanced Algebra 11, Chemistry 11, Art 11, and History 11.
“Cross is a very responsible, determined and engaged student athlete with an incredible work ethic,” said Winterhawks’ Education Advisor Sue Johnson.
Hanas is playing on a Winterhawks team that ranks second in the U.S. Division and third in the Western Conference this season. The Highland Village, Texas product is one of seven rookie skaters to reach double-digit points this season with 21 points (8G-13A) in 65 games.
Cole Schwebius, Seattle Thunderbirds: As the Thunderbirds press for a seventh-straight appearance in the WHL Playoffs, 17-year-old goaltender Cole Schwebius is staying on top of his classes at Kentwood High School. At school, Schwebius is succeeding at Advanced Placement Calculus, standing out as a role model student to his peers and team staff.
“His teachers have been impressed with his maturity, determination, and ability to balance his school work with the high demands of hockey,” said Thunderbirds’ Education Advisor Jamie Eager.
The Kelowna, B.C. product earned the first win of his WHL career December 7, 2018 against the Tri-City Americans and made a career-high 47 saves in a game against the Portland Winterhawks on February 17, 2019. In 16 games this season, Schwebius has a 4-8-2-0 record, 3.81 GAA, and a .886 SV%.
Jack Finley, Spokane Chiefs: The Chiefs’ rookie forward is managing his commitments to his team and academic studies. Attending Joel E. Ferris High School, the 16-year-old achieved top first semester marks in Pre-Calculus 12 as well as Anatomy and Physiology.
“Jack is a hard-working young man who makes an effort to really understand math conceptually,” said his teacher Renee Bogensberger. “He thinks through problems and asks critical questions.”
A product of Kelowna, B.C., Finley scored the first goal of his WHL career September 30, 2018 in his home province against the Vancouver Giants. To date, he has 16 points (8G-8A) in 60 games this season, including a pair of multi-goal games and one game-winning goal.
Bryan McAndrews, Tri-City Americans: Americans’ defenceman Bryan McAndrews is succeeding on the ice and in the classroom. Having taken online courses with Strathcona High School, McAndrews is currently enrolled at Kamiakin High School, taking Social 30, Chemistry 30, and Physical Education 30.
“Bryan is a joy to have in class and really strives to reach his full potential academically,” said Americans’ Education Advisor Jenny Olson. “He is a hard-working young man and has high expectations of himself.”
The Edmonton, Alta. product has appeared in 45 games this season with the Americans. A product of the Okanagan Hockey Academy Prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, McAndrews recorded 11 points (5G-6A) in 25 games last season.
WHL Academic Achievers – February
||School / Institution
||The Edge Academy
||Grant MacEwan University
||Kootenay Educational Services
||Chinook High School
||Medicine Hat High School
||St. Gabriel Outreach Centre
||Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School
||Carlton Comprehensive High School
||Mesa Distance Learning Program
||Swift Current Comprehensive High School
||Thompson River University
||Prince George Secondary School
||South Delta Secondary School
||Victoria High School
Fully funded by WHL member Clubs, all current WHL players are encouraged to enroll in post-secondary courses. This season, over 160 current players are taking post-secondary courses while playing in the WHL. 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.
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.
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.