Spokane Chiefs defenseman Ty Smith won the Daryl K. Seaman Memorial Trophy as the Western Hockey League’s Scholastic Player of the Year, the league announced Wednesday from Red Deer, Alberta.
Smith is the third Chief to win the award.
“It means a lot. Growing up as a kid, my family was pretty strict with me on school and hockey,” Smith said. “I knew the better I did in school and the faster I got stuff done, the more time I’d have on the ice.”
Playing in his second full season with the Chiefs, Smith recorded 73 points (14 goals, 59 assists) in 69 games, finishing second among all WHL defensemen in scoring during the 2017-18 WHL regular season. His 73 points are the most by a first-year NHL draft-eligible defenseman since the 2001-02 season and the sixth-most by a Chiefs defenseman in a single season.
He earned WHL Player of the Week honors once and set a franchise record for points in a game by a defenseman with seven (two goals, five assists) vs. Prince George on Feb. 23.
Making the move from Lloydminster, Alberta, to Spokane for the 2016-17 school year, Smith maintained a 3.57 grade-point average.
“It’s definitely tough, but we have a great education adviser in Spokane in Joe Everson,” Smith said. “He and our tutors help us out a lot. It helps our team as a whole.”
In his first season with the Chiefs, Smith was named the team’s Rookie of the Year and Scholastic Player of the Year. This year, he was named the team’s John “Hitman” Hern Defenseman of the Year and earned a second consecutive Scholastic Player of the Year award, marking the first time a Chief has earned that distinction twice.
Former Chiefs to win the award include Reid Gow (2011-12) and Kyle Rossiter (1997-98). Rossiter also went on to win the Canadian Hockey League Scholastic Player of the Year award.
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