The Western Hockey League announced Wednesday at the Year-End Awards Ceremony in Calgary that Lethbridge Hurricanes General Manager Peter Anholt was named the recipient of the WHL’s Executive of the Year and Captain Tyler Wong was named the WHL’s Humanitarian of the Year while Head Coach Brent Kisio finished as runner-up as the WHL’s Coach of the Year.
Anholt, who was named the recipient of the Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s top executive, just completed his first full season as the GM of the Hurricanes after being promoted to GM in December of 2014. Anholt constructed a Central Division winning team, making some key trades acquiring Cory Millette, Justin Gutierrez and Arvin Atwal as well as selecting Egor Babenko and Igor Merezhko in the CHL Import Draft. He also reshaped the team’s scouting staff hiring Rob MacLachlan as the teams new Head Scout as well as appointing Brent Kisio as the new Head Coach.
“It’s nice to be recognized by your peers, the quality of people that are in this league is unbelievable, and that I’m recognized by them is fantastic, but really it’s a team award,” said Anholt. “It’s what our whole staff did. But most importantly, it says a lot about what we’ve done with our players and that they want to be Hurricanes, they want to stay Hurricanes and that they want to be successful as Hurricanes.”
Wong, who just completed his fourth season with the Hurricanes, was the recipient of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Humanitarian of the Year after finishing as the runner-up last season. The ‘Canes Captain spearheaded an initiative that saw him and teammates Ryley Lindgren and Carter Folk each donate five dollars of their own money for each goal they scored during the 2015-2016 season to KidSport Lethbridge and Taber helping raise over $6,000.00. In addition, Wong was a key member at many school visits and minor hockey practices and even took time out of his own personal schedule to help at Dr. Probe Elementary School where he volunteered as a teacher’s assistant in a grade five classroom.
“It’s a big honour to be recognized as the Humanitarian of the Year. I feel it’s very important for us as WHL players to give back to the community and show that we want to be a big foundation in the community to give back,” said Wong. “My parents always taught me to be really thankful for everything I’ve been given; it’s something I really take pride in is giving back.
”Anholt becomes the first Hurricanes GM to be named as the WHL’s Executive of the Year, while Wong joins Jamie Pushor (who was the first ever recipient in 1992-93) and Jason Widmer (1993-1994) as the other Hurricanes to be named as the WHL’s Humanitarian of the Year.
In addition, Egor Babenko finished fifth among the Fan Choice Plays of the Year while Stuart Skinner’s goal was voted as the number one Play of the Year.