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Warriors Forward Firkus Awarded Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as WHL Player of the Year for 2023-24

May 9, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL) News Release

Calgary, Alta. - The Western Hockey League announced today that Moose Jaw Warriors forward and Seattle Kraken prospect Jagger Firkus has been awarded the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as WHL Player of the Year for the 2023-24 season.

WHL Player of the Year Finalists

B.C. Division - Zac Funk (Coldstream, B.C.) - Prince George Cougars

Central Division - Conor Geekie (Strathclair, Man.) - Swift Current Broncos

U.S. Division - Berkly Catton (Saskatoon, Sask.) - Spokane Chiefs

The 19-year-old Firkus, who hails from Irma, Alta., captured the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the WHL's Top Scorer, registering a career-high 126 points (61G-65A) in 63 games. Firkus' impressive campaign was the best in the entire Canadian Hockey League.

His 61 goals ranked second in the WHL to only Zac Funk of the Prince George Cougars. On the power play, Firkus secured 35 assists - good enough for second in the WHL.

The 10 game-winning goals recorded this season by Firkus ranked as second best among all WHL players.

With 12 first goals, Firkus started the scoring in games more often than any other WHL player during the 2023-24 season. He also added nine insurance goals, which left him tied atop the WHL charts.

Firkus represents only the second player in Warriors franchise history to be named WHL Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of Calgary Flames forward Dryden Hunt, who earned the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy for the 2015-16 season.

"It's an honour to receive the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy," Firkus said. "I want to congratulate the other division winners. Thank you to the staff and my teammates - without them, this doesn't happen. Thank you to my family as well."

The 5-foot-11, 160-pound centre registered more games with a hat trick (six) than games in which he was held off the scoresheet (four).

From November 25, 2023, through February 17, 2024, Firkus cruised to the best scoring streak in the WHL, notching 51 points (19G-32A) in 26 games.

"I would like to congratulate the four candidates for this year on their outstanding season," said Liam Choo-Foo, Governor of the Swift Current Broncos. "They have raised the level of play across the WHL with their show of skill, determination and talent. Having said all that, only one of them can win and this year's Player of the Year goes to Jagger Firkus."

Originally selected by the Warriors in the fourth round (82nd overall) of the 2019 WHL Draft, Firkus has collected 310 points (144G-166A) in 230 career WHL Regular Season games.

Firkus went on to be selected by the Kraken in the second round (35th overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Seattle in April 2023.

The most prestigious individual award of the Western Hockey League is named the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy in memory of the four members of the Swift Current Broncos who died in a tragic accident on December 30, 1986.

The four players - Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka, and Brent Ruff - all died when the Swift Current bus crashed while enroute to a game in Regina.

"In order that we never forget this incident, we have named this trophy in memory of these four young men," stated the late Ed Chynoweth, who served as WHL Commissioner from 1973-79 and 1980-95. "Like hundreds of other players before them, and hundreds that will follow, WHL players spend countless hours riding the bus in pursuing their hockey aspirations. By naming the Most Valuable Player Trophy in honour of these four players, hopefully we will never forget the sacrifice given by these young men."

Until 1993-94, the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy was presented to the Most Valuable Player in the WHL. Since 1994-95, it has been awarded to the WHL Player of the Year.

The WHL Player of the Year Award was voted upon by WHL General Managers and members of the media.

Winners of the Brad Hornung Memorial Trophy (since 2004)

2023-24: Jagger Firkus, Moose Jaw Warriors

2022-23: Connor Bedard, Regina Pats*

2021-22: Logan Stankoven, Kamloops Blazers*

2020-21: Peyton Krebs, Winnipeg ICE

2019-20: Adam Beckman, Spokane Chiefs

2018-19: Joachim Blichfeld, Portland Winterhawks

2017-18: Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips

2016-17: Sam Steel, Regina Pats

2015-16: Dryden Hunt, Moose Jaw Warriors

2014-15: Oliver Bjorkstrand, Portland Winterhawks

2013-14: Sam Reinhart, Kootenay ICE

2012-13: Adam Lowry, Swift Current Broncos

2011-12: Brendan Shinnimin, Tri-City Americans*

2010-11: Darcy Kuemper, Red Deer Rebels

2009-10: Jordan Eberle, Regina Pats*

2008-09: Brett Sonne, Calgary Hitmen

2007-08: Karl Alzner, Calgary Hitmen

2006-07: Kris Russell, Medicine Hat Tigers

2005-06: Justin Pogge, Calgary Hitmen

2004-05: Eric Fehr, Brandon Wheat Kings

2003-04: Cam Ward, Red Deer Rebels

* - also selected as the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year

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