CALGARY, Alberta – Spokane Chiefs captain Brenden Kichton earned the Western Hockey League’s honor as defenseman of the year during Wednesday’s WHL Awards Luncheon.
Kichton, the first Chiefs player to win the award, finished runner-up last year after being named Western Conference Defenseman of the Year.
The Spruce Grove, Alberta, native finished his fifth and final season in the WHL as the league’s top-scoring defenseman with 85 points, registering 63 assists and 22 goals.
Kichton appeared in 333 games with Spokane, No. 2 on the franchise list. He finished with 201 career assists, ranking second in Chiefs history behind Ray Whitney’s 207.
“Thanks for all the congrats from everyone!” Kichton tweeted from Calgary. “Proud to be a Spokane Chief!”
Kichton’s award is named after the late Bill Hunter, one of the founders and original team owners in the WHL.
The Chiefs have won three other WHL awards since 1998: Reid Gow as scholastic player of the year last season; Tyler Johnson as sportsmanlike player of the year in 2010-11; and Don Nachbaur as coach of the year in 2010-11.
Among the other top awards at the luncheon: Adam Lowry, Swift Current, player of the year; Seth Jones, Portland, rookie of the year; Patrik Bartosak, Red Deer, goaltender of the year; and Ryan McGill, Kootenay, coach of the year.