WHL names 2022-23 B.C. Division First All-Star Team – Kamloops Blazers

WHL names 2022-23 B.C. Division First All-Star Team – Kamloops Blazers

March 28, 2023 at 12:28 pm  Kamloops Blazers, Sports

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today the B.C. Division First All-Star Team for the 2022-23 WHL season.

WHL Division All-Stars are voted upon by WHL General Managers.

WHL B.C. Division First All-Star Team
Goaltender – Jesper Vikman (Stockholm, Sweden) – Vancouver Giants
Defenceman – Ethan Samson (Delta, B.C.) – Prince George Cougars
Defenceman – Olen Zellweger (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) – Kamloops Blazers
Forward – Andrew Cristall (Burnaby, B.C.) – Kelowna Rockets
Forward – Logan Stankoven (Kamloops, B.C.) – Kamloops Blazers
Forward – Chase Wheatcroft (Calgary, Alta.) – Prince George Cougars

WHL B.C. Division First All-Star Team Biographies

Goaltender Jesper Vikman (Vancouver Giants): The 21-year-old Vegas Golden Knights prospect collected a career best 19 wins with Vancouver during the 2022-23 WHL Regular Season, finishing the season with a .903 save percentage and one shutout, a 32-save effort March 17 versus Everett. Vikman, who hails from Stockholm, Sweden, played over 2,500 minutes in the Giants crease in 2022-23, an increase of over 600 from the 2021-22 season. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound netminder has a career 36-36-3-2 record, to go along with a 3.19 goals-against average, .903 save percentage and four shutouts from his 80 WHL regular season contests with Vancouver.

Defenceman Ethan Samson (Prince George Cougars): The 19-year-old captained the Cougars to a second-place finish in the B.C. Division while finishing tied for fourth among WHL blueliners with 18 goals as part of a 60-point regular season total. From Delta, B.C., Samson earned an entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers this season after being selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 183-pound blueliner set a career high with 10 shots on goal January 14 at Swift Current. In 211 WHL regular season games, all with Prince George, Samson has totalled 122 points (36G-86A).

Defenceman Olen Zellweger (Kamloops Blazers): Acquired by Kamloops from the Everett Silvertips January 8, the 19-year-old Anaheim Ducks prospect led all Western Conference defencemen with 80 points (32G-48A), all while becoming the first WHL blueliner in six seasons to score 30 or more goals. The reigning Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy winner as WHL Defenceman of the Year, Zellweger helped Canada capture a gold medal in January at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship. The 5-foot-10, 182-pound rearguard fired 345 shots on goal during the regular season, 102 more than the next-closest WHL blueliner. Zellweger, who hails from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., has scored 183 points (50G-133A) in 180 career WHL regular season games.

Forward Andrew Cristall (Kelowna Rockets): Rated #16 among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting, Cristall led the Rockets in goals (39), assists (56) and points (95) while finishing sixth among the leading point-getters in the WHL. The 18-year-old, who hails from Burnaby, B.C., missed 14 games due to injury but marked his return with a  four-goal effort February 15 versus Everett. He tallied five assists in a game on two separate occasions, most recently March 25 versus Vancouver. Of the top 20 scorers in the WHL, only Connor Bedard had more even-strength goals than the 30 collected by Cristall during the regular season. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound forward has totalled 169 points (69G-100A) from his 129 career regular season outings with Kelowna.

Forward Logan Stankoven (Kamloops Blazers): The reigning WHL and Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year, Stankoven is set to captain his hometown Blazers into the post-season after finishing fourth in League scoring with 97 points (34G-63A). The Dallas Stars prospect, who helped Canada win gold at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship in January, finished fifth among WHL skaters with 63 assists despite missing 20 of the Blazers’ 68 games. In 180 career WHL season contests, Stankoven has collected 260 points on the strength of 115 goals and 145 assists.

Forward Chase Wheatcroft (Prince George Cougars): The 20-year-old became just the second Prince George Cougar, and first since 1997-98 to record 100 or more points in a season, finishing the 2022-23 campaign with a career-best 107 points (47G-60A) to lead all Western Conference skaters. The product of Calgary, Alta. signed an entry-level contract with the Dallas Stars earlier this month and set a Prince George franchise record with 22 power-play goals, which also were tied for the most among WHL players this season. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound forward has collected 189 points (78G-111A) over his 205 WHL regular season outings.

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