Swift Current, SK – The Western Hockey League announced today Eastern and Western Conference individual award winners for the 2016-17 WHL season.
Tyler Steenbergen was named the Eastern Conference Most Sportsmanlike Player while Finnish forward Aleksi Heponiemi was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Year.
A product of Sylvan Lake, AB, Steenbergen enjoyed a breakout season for the Swift Current Broncos, finishing first in team scoring with 90 points (51g-39a) in 72 games while helping the team finish third in the WHL’s East Division and earn a playoff spot. As a key contributor in all situations, Steenbergen’s 51 goals and 12 game-winning-goals were both league bests while the 19-year-old also finished with a plus-26 rating and only collecting 22 penalty minutes on 11 minor fractions. Drafted 12th overall in the first round of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Steenbergen is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft and was recognized as a ranked WHL skater by NHL Central Scouting. Furthermore, Steenbergen was also named to the WHL’s Eastern Conference 2nd All-Star Team.
Heponiemi enjoyed a terrific rookie season for the Swift Current Broncos in 2016-17. The 18-year-old import forward from Tampere, Finland was second in team scoring and finished first amongst all WHL rookies with 86 points (28g-58a) while suiting up in all 72 games. Heponiemi’s 56 assists were first amongst first-year players and his 30 power play assists also led the pack amongst rookies. Originally drafted with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 CHL Import Draft by the Broncos, Heponiemi made an immediate impact on the Broncos offence and is ranked by NHL Central Scouting amongst the top North American skaters eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.
The two Bronco forwards are eligible for League awards at the 2017 WHL Awards in Calgary, AB on Wednesday, May 3rd.
Broncos playoff tickets are currently on sale. Visit the Stable during box office hours, call 306-773-1509 or purchase tickets online at tickets.scbroncos.com.