Monday, April 22, 2024

Sward named Western Hockey League’s tempo player of the week

Wild defenseman sets new career high in midst of six-point week

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WENATCHEE – Wenatchee’s blueliners have proven tough to tame at the goal line recently, and a career mark for the team’s captain has helped him earn some weekly hardware from the Western Hockey League. Wild defenseman Graham Sward was selected Tuesday as the WHL’s Tempo Player of the Week, notching six points over two games, including a pair of goals.

Those markers came as part of the team’s 7-4 win at the Seattle Thunderbirds on Wednesday, to go along with three assists. The five-point night was a career-best for the Abbotsford, British Columbia native, and tied the team’s single-game best during the 2023-24 campaign. He would add an assist in Wenatchee’s lone goal of a 7-1 defeat Friday against the Everett Silvertips.

He enters the new week with 65 points for the season, posting 13 goals and 52 assists. The 2022 Nashville Predators draft pick ranks second on the WHL’s scoring leaderboard and second on the league’s assists leaderboard among defensemen, and his plus/minus rating of +38 ranks second among all WHL skaters. He stands at 164 points over 236 career WHL appearances, and has a chance to reach the 250-game plateau before the end of Wenatchee’s regular season.

He is the fifth player on the Wild roster this season to pick up a weekly award from the WHL, and third Wenatchee player to earn a Player of the Week honor from the league this year.

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