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.



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