WHL Names Award Nominees: Former Blade Up For Player Of The Year

The Western Hockey League is pleased to announce that Tim McGauley (Brandon Wheat Kings) and Oliver Bjorkstrand (Portland Winterhawks) have been selected as the Eastern and Western Conference nominees, respectively, for the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the 2014-15 WHL Player of the Year.

The finalists and eventual winner are determined through a voting process which includes general managers, coaches, and media representatives from each WHL Club. The winner will be crowned at the 2015 WHL Awards Luncheon, which will be held in Calgary on Wednesday, May 6th.

A product of Wilcox, SK, McGauley enjoyed a career campaign for the Wheat Kings this year, helping Brandon to a 53-11-4-4 record and the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s top regular season team. The 19-year-old scored 42 goals and 63 assists for 105 points along with a plus-43 rating while playing in all 72 games.

McGauley’s 105 points ranked third in WHL scoring while his 63 assists placed him fourth amongst all players. In addition, McGauley’s plus-43 rating led all Wheat Kings skaters this season while he also notched eight game-winning goals and three shorthanded goals. McGauley’s impressive season included a 24-game point streak in which he totalled 53 points (17g-36a) from January 16th-March 13th. McGauley also produced 34 multiple-point games and notched two overtime winners this year.

Selected by Brandon in the first round, 20th overall, of the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, McGauley has played 225 career regular season games for the Wheat Kings and amassed 210 points (80g-130a) with a plus-27 rating. McGauley is eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft.

A 1995-born forward from Herning Denmark, Bjorkstrand enjoyed an explosive season for the Winterhawks to help the Club post a record of 43-23-2-4. This past year, it took Bjorkstrand 58 regular season games to amass 63 goals and 55 assists for 118 points to go along with a plus-60 rating.

Bjorkstrand’s 118 points ranked first in WHL regular season scoring while his 63 goals and plus-60 rating also led all players. Bjorkstrand led the League in shorthanded goals with eight while his 10 game-winning goals were tied for top spot. Bjorkstrand finished with 13 more goals than his nearest competitor, and is the third WHL player since the 2000-01 season to reach the 60-goal plateau. The 6’0, 168 lb forward set a franchise record with a 12-game goal streak from January 30th-March 6th. Bjorkstrand also recorded 36 multiple-point games and 16 multiple-goal games, including five hat tricks.

Drafted by Portland 26th overall in the 2012 CHL Import Draft, Bjorkstrand has played 193 career regular season games for the Winterhawks and has totaled 290 points (144g-156a) with a plus-142 rating. Bjorkstrand was selected in the third round, 89th overall, by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2013 NHL Draft.

McGauley and Bjorkstrand are set to begin the Eastern and Western Conference Championship Series, respectively, with their Clubs on Friday.