A strong season for the Swift Current Broncos wrapped up with two more accolades.

The WHL honoured forward Aleksi Heponiemi with the Jim Piggot Memorial Trophy as WHL Rookie of the Year and forward Tyler Steenbergen with the Brad Hornung Trophy for Most Sportsmanlike Player.

"It certainly is a great accomplishment for both our players," said Broncos Coach/Director of Player Personnel Manny Viveiros. "Not only just the players but it's a team award. Those guys certainly wouldn't have had the seasons they did without great complimentary teammates to help them out throughout the year. Both very well deserving. So happy for the kids and both those kids put the time and effort in to do it the right way."

Heponiemi entered the league as a 17-year-old fresh from Finland listed at only 5'10 and 141lbs. Despite that he became one of the most dangerous offensive weapons on the WHL with 28 goals and 58 assists while playing in all 72 regular season games.

"We knew he was good coming but we didn't expect he would be that good," Viveiros said. "For him to come over to North America his first time over here with a new language, new culture and a different league... how well and how quickly he adjusted was a surprise for us. We were so happy at the way he continued to develop throughout the whole year. He's only going to get better."

Often it takes rookies a while to adjust to the WHL game and that's especially true for those adapting to a new culture in a new country. Heponiemi never skipped a beat.

"I just think he's a special player," Viveiros said. "Any special players they can adapt under any type of circumstances. The biggest thing with Aleksi is he has to get a little bit faster and a little bit stronger. That will come in time just by maturing. He'll put the work in. He'll come back stronger, a little bit faster and continue working on his skills."

For Steenbergen it was a breakout season going from 20 goals as a 17-year-old to a league leading 51 as an 18-year-old.

"Tyler is another example of a young man coming into this league as a 16-year-old and maybe taking a bit of time to develop here," Viveiros said. "His development curve has been unbelievable. Everything that he's got is all deserved. There's very few people on our hockey team that work as hard as him. A great young man and he's a leader in our dressing room as well. Whoever is going to draft him this year, and he will get drafted, is going to have a very good hockey player."

The jump in goal scoring didn't just come because of a lethal shot.

"Tyler understood what he had to do to score goals," Viveiros said. "It's not just the wrist shot that he has developed, but the work he has put into it as to where he scores goals. He scores a lot of goals right in front of the crease area which is the most dirty area to play. It's also his 200 foot game. He's come back and learned to be a really good defensive player too which translates to spending less time in our zone."

Steenbergen took only 22 minutes in penalties and that translated to an award for sportsmanship. The Broncos still felt he played a hard game.

"He plays the game at such a high level, he plays the game fair and he plays it hard," Viveiros noted. "His ability to stay out of the penalty box does translate to being on the ice more in key situations. He's a very smart hockey player and his ability to play hard and fair is why he got chosen for this award."

Regina Pats forward Sam Steel won the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy for WHL MVP. If they continue to develop on the same path Viveiros could see Steenbergen and Heponiemi being candidates for that prestigious award one day.

More Local Sports

A Friday Night Lights experience for the Bantam 'AAA' 57's

There won’t be much time to rest over the weekend for the Bantam 'AAA' 57's. Having a loaded schedule upon them for the next three days, they will play doubleheaders on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.…

Peterson represents Shadows at Senior Bowl

For the fifth straight year, the Shaunavon Shadows were represented at the Saskatchewan Senior Bowl. Competing with Team South in the 2017 edition was Shadow's grade 12 middle linebacker Isaac…

Yard Goats pick up 5th straight win

Another baseball game and another victory for the Swift Current Yard Goats. Playing host to the Shaunavon Badgers Thursday night at Mitchell Field, the Goats picked up a 7-3 victory. For the…

Drag Racing to return this weekend

The Swift Current Drag Racing Association is set to return this weekend for the first time in 2017. The SCDRA are scheduled to get their season underway on Saturday with their first of three race…

7 Records Broken as Southwest Athletes Compete for Spot at SHSAA Track Provincials

Despite windy conditions throughout the day on Wednesday, southwest athletes still managed to put on record-breaking performances at the Swift Current Comp. as they competed in Districts. Most…

Tough Night Offensively for Midget 'AAA' 57's

Once again, the offence could not find a spark and ultimatetly let the Swift Current Midget 'AAA' 57's down Wednesday night. Hosting the Regina White Sox at Mitchell Field, the 57's were only able to…

Broncos happy to get King inked

First round bantam draft picks are often cornerstones for WHL teams. The Swift Current Broncos have locked up one of those cornerstones by inking Ben King to a WHL standard player agreement. "I had…

Weather Permitting, a Busy Night Ahead in the Sask-Alta

Should the weather hold up, it will be a busy night in the Sask-Alta Baseball League. There are four games on the schedule for Thursday night, weather permitting. In Eastern Division contests, the…

Bantam 'AA' 57's Fall in Moose Jaw

A tough loss for the Bantam 'AA' 57's last night in Moose Jaw. Taking on the Mallards, the 57's dropped a 7-4 decision, marking just their second loss in their last six games. According to Head Coach…

Swift Current Comp. Hosting District Track and Field

The next step towards qualifying for the 2017 SHSAA Provincial Track and Field Meet takes place Wednesday in Swift Current. The Comp. will play host to athletes from the Rolling Hills, Whitemud and…

Midget 'AAA' 57's Look to Get in the Win Column

Still seeking their first victory of the season, the Midget 'AAA' 57's are scheduled to get back on the diamond Wednesday night. Swift Current will return to the friendly confines of Mitchell Field,…

Broncos Sign 13th Overall Pick King

The Swift Current Broncos have officially signed one of their eight 2017 WHL Bantam Draft selections. Early Tuesday afternoon, the team announced they had inked forward Ben King to a WHL Standard…

Mosquito 'AA' 57's to Host Provincial Tournament

The City of Swift Current will be the host site for the Mosquito 'AA' Tier 1 Baseball Provincial championship this summer. The Swift Current Mosquito 'AA' 57's will be the host team for the…

Betties Drop First Bout in 2017 Season

For the first time in the 2017 season, the Redneck Betties found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Playing in their third bout of the season, and second at home, the Betties fell to the…

Perfect Victoria Day for Pee Wee 'AA' 57's

Despite Monday being a holiday, there was no time off for the Swift Current Pee Wee 'AA' 57's. The 57's took a trip north-east to Southey for a Victoria Day doubleheader against the Eagles. For Swift…

15U Female SunDogs Season Comes to an End at Nationals

A successful season came to an end over the weekend for the 15U Female SunDogs volleyball team. The squad wrapped up their season at Volleyball Canada Nationals West in Regina. Coming off of their…

Elmwood Receives National Honour For Junior Links Program

Introducing young kids to the sport of golf has long been a focus for Jeff Chambers and the Elmwood Golf & Country Club. On Wednesday, the Club was recognized for its hard work. Golf Canada announced…

Carnahan Ready to Get 2017 WMBL Season Rolling

In just two week's time, the Swift Current WMBL franchise will run out onto the Mitchell Field grass for the first time in 2017, however, they will not be dawning the blue and red colours the city…

Late Rally Earns Midget 'AAA' 57's a Tie in Regina

Although still chasing that elusive first victory, the losing streak came to a halt Wednesday night. After dropping their first five games to open the 2017 season, the Swift Current Midget 'AAA' 57's…

Four New Records Set at Whitemud Track and Field Sectional

The first of three SHSAA Sectional Track and Field Meets this week took place Tuesday in Consul with the Whitemud Sectional. Athletes from Consul, Eastend, Frontier, Shaunavon and Val Marie are all…

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

SouthWest SoccerFest

26 May 2017 7:00 pm - 28 May 2017 6:00 pm

TBA





Drag Races Swift Current Airport

28 May 2017 8:00 am - 29 May 2017 6:00 pm

Swift Current Airport





Ceramic Garden Ornaments Weekend Workshop

28 May 2017 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Art Gallery of Swift Current, Swift Current





Swift Current RSC NAOSH Luncheon

29 May 2017 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Eagles Hall Swift Current Sask.





Craving Change

29 May 2017 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

EI Wood Building 4TH Floor, Swift Current





FEMC Annual Tea and Cake Auction

29 May 2017 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Faith Evangelical Missionary Church, Swift Current





Gentle Yoga

29 May 2017 7:00 pm

Swift Current Branch Library, Swift Current





Login