Red Deer, Alta. / Spokane, Wash. – Spokane Chiefs defenseman Ty Smith has won the Daryl K. Seaman Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year, as announced by the league on Wednesday. Smith is the third ever Chief to win the award.
“It means a lot. Growing up as a kid, my family was pretty strict with me on school and hockey,” said Smith. “I knew the better I did in school and the faster I got stuff done, the more time I’d have on the ice.”
Playing in his second full season with the Chiefs, Smith recorded 73 points (14G-59A) in 69 games, finishing second among all WHL defensemen in scoring during the 2017-18 WHL regular season. His 73 points are the most by a first-year NHL draft eligible defenseman since the 2001-02 season (Ian White, Swift Current; 79) and are the 6th most ever by a Chiefs defenseman in a single season. He earned WHL Player of the Week honors once and set a new franchise record for points in a game by a defenseman with seven (2G-5A) vs. Prince George on Feb. 23.
Making the move from Lloydminster, Alta. to Spokane, Wash. for the 2016-17 school year, Smith maintained a 3.57 GPA during his studies south of the border. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound defenseman scored top marks throughout his time in high school, posting a 98 percent in Computer Applications B, a 95 percent in Anatomy and Physiology A and a 91 percent in Physics – Year 1A.
He also registered an 88 percent in Pre-Calculus A and an 87 percent in English 11A while also earning an 84 percent in Bridge to College English 12A and 83 percent in AP Statistics A.
“It’s definitely tough, but we have a great education advisor in Spokane in Joe Everson. He and our tutors help us out a lot. It helps our team as a whole.”
In his first season with the Chiefs, Smith was named the team’s Rookie of the Year and Scholastic Player of the Year. This year, he was named the team’s John “Hitman” Hern Defenseman of the Year and earned a second consecutive Scholastic Player of the Year award, marking the first time a Chief has earned that distinction twice.
In 1996, the WHL Scholastic Player of the Year Trophy was named in honor of Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman, a pioneer in promoting higher education and hockey as well as a leading supporter of the WHL’s education and scholarship programs. It is awarded annually to the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year and recognizes a player who has demonstrated academic excellence while competing in the WHL.
Former Chiefs to win the award include Reid Gow (2011-12) and Kyle Rossiter (1997-98). Rossiter went on to win the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year award as well.
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.