Over 30 Former Chiefs Among Record 405 Total WHL Scholarships Awarded

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Calgary, Alta. – The Spokane Chiefs, in concurrence with the Western Hockey League, announced today that 31 former Spokane Chiefs have been awarded WHL Scholarships for the fall and winter semesters of the 2018-19 academic year. They are part of a record 405 total WHL Scholarships awarded, marking the highest total for any academic year to date.

Of the 31 former Chiefs, 21 are also continuing their hockey careers at the collegiate level, joining notable alumni Derek Ryan (University of Alberta; now with the NHL’s Calgary Flames) and Chris Bruton (Acadia University; four-year professional career).

Former Chiefs taking advantage of their scholarship opportunity include:

  • Jason Fram – University of Alberta*
  • Curtis Miske – University of Alberta*
  • Tanner Wishnowski – University of British Columbia
  • Luke Harrison – University of Calgary*
  • Jordan Henderson – University of Calgary*
  • Garret Hughson – University of Lethbridge*
  • Jeff Rayman – University of Lethbridge*
  • Reid Gow – University of Manitoba
  • Lasse Petersen – University of Manitoba
  • Colton Bobyk – Mount Royal University*
  • Connor Chartier – Mount Royal University*
  • Tyson Helgesen – Mount Royal University*
  • Mitch Lipon – Mount Royal University*
  • Tyler King – University of Regina*
  • Tyson Predinchuk – University of Regina
  • Evan Fiala – University of Saskatchewan*
  • Todd Fiddler – University of Saskatchewan
  • Wyatt Johnson – University of Saskatchewan*
  • Rykr Cole – Carleton University*
  • Matt Sozanski – Carleton University*
  • Keanu Yamamoto – McGill University*
  • Riley Whittingham – University of Prince Edward Island*
  • Calder Brooks – St. Mary’s University*
  • Markson Bechtold – University of Waterloo*
  • Kolten Olynek – University of Western Ontario (King’s University College)*
  • Marcus Messier – University of Windsor
  • Alex Mowbray – York University*
  • Tyson Verhelst – Lethbridge College
  • Jayden Sittler – Red Deer College
  • Blair Oneschuk – SAIT Polytechnic
  • Jake Toporowski – Scott Community College

*currently playing hockey in the Canada West Conference of U Sports, Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) or British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL)

The 2018-19 season marks the 25th anniversary of the WHL Scholarship program. Established on a league-wide basis in 1993-94, over 6,000 graduate players have received WHL Scholarships, representing an investment of over $25 million by WHL Clubs. This season, WHL Clubs will contribute in excess of $2.6 million to the 405 WHL graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship.

“The WHL and our Clubs are very pleased to see another record number of our graduate players utilizing their WHL Scholarships to further their education right here at home in Canada,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “With the number of our graduates taking advantage of their WHL Scholarships increasing every year, it clearly demonstrates our WHL Club ownership are committed to not only providing our players with a world class hockey experience but also the most comprehensive scholarship available in North America today.”




Administered by the WHL Office, WHL Scholarships are solely funded by the WHL member Clubs. 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. The WHL graduate can apply the funding to any post-secondary or career-enhancing program of his choice, including trades schools or professional career training programs.

In addition to the WHL Scholarship players receive upon graduation from the WHL, all current WHL players are encouraged to enroll in post-secondary courses and these courses are also fully-funded by the WHL member Clubs. This season, over 175 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. The WHL and Athabasca University have partnered to offer, through an online distance education platform, fully-accredited university courses to any WHL player interested in further pursuing post-secondary studies while playing in the WHL. This year, over 75 current WHL players have taken courses through Athabasca University.

This year, 249 of the 405 WHL Scholarship recipients are furthering their education at Universities in Western Canada, with 140 of those playing Canadian University hockey at the U SPORTS level in Canada West (CW) hockey league. In many cases, these student-athletes have combined their WHL Scholarship with additional financial assistance from Canada West Universities to receive the Western Canada Premier Hockey Scholarship.

Among the 199 WHL graduates playing Canadian University hockey at the U SPORTS level are 83 WHL Alumni, including 66 from Canada West, set to compete at the 2019 Cavendish Farms University Cup in Lethbridge, Alta., from March 14 to 17.

The University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Sask.) leads all post-secondary institutions with 38 WHL graduates enrolled in full-time studies, while 34 former WHL players are registered at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alta.). The University of British Columbia (28), University of Calgary (24), University of Lethbridge (23), University of Regina (23), Mount Royal University (23) and University of Manitoba (21) also lead the way in WHL graduate enrolment.

WHL Scholarship recipients are enrolled this year as full-time students at 77 different post-secondary institutions throughout North America.

Alberta leads all western provinces, having produced 162 WHL graduates currently accessing their WHL Scholarship, followed by British Columbia (90), Saskatchewan (80) and Manitoba (41). A total of 29 U.S. players are accessing their WHL Scholarship.

Among the 2018-19 WHL Scholarship recipients, 156 WHL graduates are enrolled at universities in Eastern Canada, Canadian colleges, trades or technical institutions, or attending post-secondary in the United States.

The number of WHL Scholarships awarded during the 2018-19 academic season has continued to trend upwards over the past 10 years. During the academic season for 2009-10, a total of 274 WHL Scholarships were awarded. With 405 WHL Scholarships awarded for the 2018-19 academic year, this represents an increase in activations of 47.8 per cent over the past 10 years.

CLICK HERE for a detailed list of all WHL Scholarship recipients for the 2018-19 academic season.

Summary: WHL Scholarships 2018-19
Canadian Universities, Western Canada – 249
Canadian Universities, Eastern Canada – 64
Canadian Colleges and other institutions – 74
U.S. Colleges, Universities – 18
Total –  WHL Graduate Scholarships – 405

WHL Graduates continuing to play hockey at the elite Canadian University or College level:
Canada West Conference – 140
Ontario University Athletics – 38

Atlantic University Sport Conferences – 21
ACAC – 26

Total – 234

Provincial Summary: WHL Scholarships 2018-19

British Columbia – 90
Alberta – 162
Saskatchewan – 80
Manitoba – 41
North West Territories / Yukon – 1
Ontario – 2
USA / International – 29

Totals – 405

10-year Review – WHL Scholarships (Full Academic Season)

2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
274 318 326 336 329 338 373 387 391 405


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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