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Yukon’s Gavin McKenna up for WHL rookie of the year honours

16-year-old winger is the best newcomer in the league’s central division.
The Yukon’s Gavin McKenna is the most promising rookie of the Western Hockey League’s Central Division and could win the trophy for the league’s best newcomer. (CHL graphic)

The Yukon’s Gavin McKenna is one of four hockey players in the running for the Western Hockey League’s rookie of the year award.

The 16-year-old winger from Whitehorse who plays for the Medicine Hat Tigers is up for the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy alongside Terik Parascak of the Prince George Cougars, Evan Gardner of the Saskatoon Blades and Julius Miettinen of the Everett Silvertips. The four nominees are each the most promising rookie of their WHL division.

The Canadian Hockey League announcement of the trophy contestants notes that McKenna is one of the youngest players on a WHL roster, having just turned 16 on Dec. 20, 2023.

He was the second highest-scoring rookie in the league and the 12th highest scorer overall, tallying up 34 goals and 63 assists in 61 games this season.

McKenna has already been honoured by the WHL with player of the month recognition this January which saw him put up a career-high one-goal, five-assist performance on Jan. 6.

The Tigers are in the midst of a playoff series against the Red Deer Rebels that is a dead heat tied 2-2 with two overtime finishes.

McKenna and the rest of his squad suit up again April 5 in Medicine Hat.

Premier Ranj Pillai gave a nod in the Yukon Legislative Assembly this week to McKenna.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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