The Western Hockey League and its Alumni Association announced on Monday the recipients of this year’s WHL Alumni Association Achievement Awards.
The awards recognize WHL grads in two distinct areas.
Ex-Swift Current Bronco Joe Sakic was honoured as a player who pursued professional hockey and achieved a distinguished career in the National Hockey League.
Sakic spent 1986-88 with the Broncos, before moving on to a stellar NHL career, finishing with 1,641 points in 1,378 games. He retired as the eighth all-time scorer in NHL history.
The second award was given to an alumnus who has obtained a post secondary education through the WHL Scholarship Program and moved on to a highly successful business career.
Ex-Kelowna Rocket Gavin McLeod was honoured.
The Delta native played his entire five-year career in Kelowna from 1996-2001, appearing in 321 games while recording 15 goals, 93 points and 538 penalty minutes.
Picked by the Ottawa Senators in the fifth round of the 1998 NHL entry draft, McLeod chose to utilize his scholarship before pursuing any professional hockey opportunities.
McLeod played another five years for the University of Alberta Golden Bears from 2001-06, winning national titles in 2005 and 2006.
He played in 133 Canadian university games, compiling four goals and 45 points.
McLeod was named an Academic All-Canadian in 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05 and was named the recipient of the 2004-05 Dr. Randy Gregg Award as the Canadian University Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year.
In 2006, McLeod graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in accounting.
He worked with Ernst and Young in Edmonton as an articling student, while successfully completing his chartered accounting designation.
McLeod now works with Petrocom Construction in Edmonton as their Director of Finance.
The recipients are selected annually by the Alumni Association’s executive committee, which is headed by former WHL and NHL goaltender Kelly Hrudey.
Sakic and McLeod will be honoured at the 2010 WHL awards luncheon being held tomorrow in Edmonton. McLeod will be in attendance. Due to prior commitments, Sakic will not be attending.