Hurricanes to Hold Second Annual Poker Tournament

2015-2016-Poker-Tournament-PosterThe Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club is excited to announce that the team will be holding their Second Annual Lethbridge Hurricanes Poker Tournament on Saturday, May 14th, at Casino Lethbridge (3756 2nd Ave S, Lethbridge, AB.).

The tournament will begin at 3:00pm with registration starting at 2:00pm. There will be a Prime Rib Dinner from 5:00pm to 5:45pm for all participants. It will include $10,000 starting chips and 30-minute blinds.

Starting field for the tournament will consist of a maximum of 66 participants. Buy-in pricing is as follows:

$550.00 (Tournament and Registration Fee)
$300.00 (Re-entry Fee – available only for the first two hours)

Last year in the inaugural Hurricanes Poker Tournament, Ryan Godson was victorious, and is slated to defend his title this year. Over $10,000 was raised for the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ charity initiatives through the Onside Committee.

Sponsorship packages are available. For more information, or to register, please visit the Hurricanes website at www.lethbridgehurricanes.com or contact the Hurricanes office for more information at (403) 328-1986.

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WHL Announces Humanitarian of the Year Nominees

humanitariannominees2016Calgary, AB The Western Hockey League announced today that Tyler Wong (Lethbridge Hurricanes / Cochrane, AB) and Jerret Smith (Seattle Thunderbirds / Surrey, BC) have been nominated for the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Humanitarian of the Year.

Eastern Conference – Tyler Wong (Lethbridge Hurricanes / Cochrane, AB)

Wong, the Eastern Conference Humanitarian of the Year for the second straight year, recently completed his fourth full season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Now the team’s captain, Wong has become an integral member of the community and was voted as the Hurricanes’ Fan Favourite Player for the fourth consecutive season last month.

Prior to the start of this season, Wong created a program in which he vowed to donate $5.00 of his own money to charity for each goal he scored. After recruiting teammates Ryley Lindgren and Carter Folk to join him, other individuals and local businesses soon jumped on board to create the ‘Canes KidSport program that saw over $6,000.00 donated to KidSport this season. In addition, Wong spends an hour each Monday with a local atom hockey team as part of the Hurricanes’ Mentorship Program. On his own time, the 19-year-old spends an hour and a half every Thursday he is available at Dr. Probe Elementary where he volunteers as a teacher’s assistant in a grade five classroom mentoring students and helping them with reading, math and science.

Western Conference – Jerret Smith (Seattle Thunderbirds / Surrey, BC)

Smith, who also recently completed his fourth WHL season, posted a career-high 41 points (9g-32a) from Seattle’s blueline this season. All the while, Smith committed his free time to becoming a key mentor for youth in the Kent area.

Smith was an active speaker in a number of school assemblies hosted by the Thunderbirds this season which covered topics such as anti-bullying, goal setting, and responsibility. As a leader in the community, Smith has also spent the past three years as a student mentor at Nelly-O’Brien Elementary School in Kent. There Smith connects with students in classrooms or on the playground, but developed a particularly special bond with one. Smith’s student confided in him earlier this year that his father was ill before he tragically passed away a short time later. The Surrey, BC native supported his student throughout the difficult time, lending an ear whenever he needed someone to listen. Smith attended the funeral alongside his student before guiding he and his classmates through a tour of ShoWare Centre and the Thunderbirds’ dressing room the next day. Smith has consistently demonstrated the powerful impact WHL players can have as role models in their communities.

The Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy will be presented at the 2016 WHL Awards on May 4th in Calgary, AB.

The Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the WHL’s Humanitarian of the Year.The award recognizes a player who has helped and enhanced the community he plays in. In May of 2001, the Humanitarian of the Year trophy was named in honour of former Regina Pat Doug Wickenheiser for both his contributions on and off the ice.

Each year, all WHL players volunteer countless hours to various charitable and positive causes in the communities in which they play.

RELEASE COURTESY WHL

Burke & Babenko Listed in Final Rankings

Burke-Babenko-Final-RankingsThe National Hockey League’s Central Scouting final rankings for the upcoming 2016 NHL Entry Draft was released Tuesday and two Lethbridge Hurricanes cracked the list as Brayden Burke and Egor Babenko were both ranked.

Burke was the highest ranked of the two Hurricanes being listed 63rd among North American Skaters, a five spot jump from his 68th ranking in the midterm rankings. Burke had a career season shattering his previous career high in points. The Edmonton, Alberta product lead the Hurricanes in scoring with 109 points (27g-82a) along with a team-high plus-36 rating and 44 penalty minutes. Burke finished tied for first in assists in the WHL and was third in league scoring. He was the first Hurricane to reach the 100-point plateau since Jeremy Jackson who registered 102 point in 2002-2003. Burke was also named an Eastern Conference second team All-Star.

Babenko came in at 106th among North American skaters after being ranked 77th in the midterm rankings. The product of Tyumen, Russia had a tremendous first season in the WHL registering 69 points (29g-40a) along with a plus-26 rating and 36 penalty minutes in 67 games this season. He was fifth in team scoring and was third in plus-minus on the Hurricanes. Babenko finished third in both goals and points by a rookie.

A total of 51 Western Hockey League players were listed in the NHL’s final rankings; the highest ranked WHLer being Calgary Hitmen’s defenseman, Jake Bean. An additional nine WHL goaltenders were ranked in the final rankings, the highest being Everett Silvertips netminder, Carter Hart.

The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is slated to take place in Buffalo, New York at the First Niagara Center from June 24-25.

Skinner Heading to U-18 Pre-Competition Camp

SkinnerHockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Thursday that Lethbridge Hurricanes goaltender Stuart Skinner, along with 22 other players, will take part in Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team pre-competition camp in Winnipeg in preparation for the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Skinner is one of three goaltenders invited to the camp in Winnipeg and is the only WHL netminder to attend. Skinner is one of seven WHL players to attend the camp joining: Calgary’s Jake Bean and Beck Malenstyn, Medicine Hat’s David Quenneville and Mason Shaw, Spokane’s Jaret Anderson-Dolan, and Tri-City’s Michael Rasmussen.

Skinner had a career year in his sophomore campaign in 2015-2016 for the Hurricanes appearing in 44 games posting a 27-10-1-0 record with a 2.74 goals against average and a 0.920 save percentage with three shutouts. Skinner also became the first Hurricanes’ netminder and only seventh in WHL history to score a goal while adding two assists. He finished fourth in the WHL in save percentage.

The Edmonton, Albert product was one of five underage players named to the pre-competition camp for the 2015 Ivan Hlinka tournament in Switzerland last year. Skinner also represented Canada Black at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The 2016 IIHF U18 World Championships takes place in Grand Forks, North Dakota from April 14-24. Canada will begin the tournament on April 15 with a game against Denmark.

Wong Signs ATO with Marlies

Wong-RocketsThe Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club would like to congratulate forward Tyler Wong on signing an Amateur Try Out with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

Wong, who is the longest serving Hurricane, was named the 25th Captain in franchise history at the beginning of the 2015-2016 season. The now 20-year-old had a career year this season registering 89 points (43g-46a) along with 42 penalty minutes and a plus-17 finishing second in team scoring only behind Brayden Burke.

Wong was named the Hurricanes Fan Favourite award winner for the fourth straight year at the Hurricanes year-end awards ceremony. He was also the recipient of the Scholastic Award, the Herman Elfring Community Relations Award and the Three Star Award.

The Cochrane, Alberta product has skated in 248 career games over five seasons with the Hurricanes accumulating 189 points (92g-97a) along with 171 penalty minutes. He is 15th on the all-time Hurricanes game played list, 15th in all-time goals and tied for 20th in all-time points in franchise history.

Wong is the third Hurricane player to sign an AHL ATO in the last week as Giorgio Estephan and Andrew Nielsen have also both signed ATO’s. Wong will join Nielsen with the Marlies.

We wish Tyler the best of luck in his time in the American Hockey League.

Nielsen & Estephan Ink AHL ATO’s

Estephan-Nielsen-AHLThe Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club would like to congratulate forward Giorgio Estephan and defenseman Andrew Nielsen on signing Amateur Try Outs in the American Hockey League.

Nielsen, who was drafted 65th overall in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, inked his ATO with the Maple Leafs affiliate the Toronto Marlies. Nielsen signed a three-year entry level contract with the Leafs back in November.

The 19-year-old rearguard had a career season with the Hurricanes during the 2015-2016 season collecting 70 points (18g-52a) in 71 games along with 122 penalty minutes and a plus-30 rating. Nielsen was just the third defenseman in Hurricanes history to reach the 70-point mark joining Darcy Werenka and Shane Peacock as the others. Nielsen was named a WHL’s Eastern Conference First Team All-Star.

Estephan, who was drafted 152nd overall in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, signed an ATO with the Sabres affiliate the Rochester Americans. Estephan, despite missing 13 games due injury, had a career year in 2015-2016 scoring 74 points (30g-44a) in 59 games along with 12 penalty minutes and a plus-26. Estephan was tied for the team-leading with four points in the 2016 WHL Playoffs.

The Hurricanes would like to wish both Nielsen and Estephan the best of luck in their time in the American Hockey League.