On April 16, 2020, the Western Hockey League announced Edmonton Oil Kings forward Dylan Guenther has been named the WHL Eastern Conference Rookie of the Year and nominee for the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy (WHL Rookie of the Year) presented by Wawanesa Insurance.
The first-overall selection at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, Guenther excelled for his hometown Oil Kings throughout the 2019-20 WHL regular season. With the Oil Kings repeating as Central Division champions, Guenther recorded 59 points (26G, 33A) in 58 games, including eight power play goals and three game-winning goals. On the Oil Kings, Guenther led the team in goals, ranked fourth in assists, and was third overall in scoring.
Among WHL rookies, Guenther ranked third in goals, tied for second in assists, and was second in overall scoring. He was one of four WHL rookies to produce at better than a point-per-game pace throughout the regular season.
As part of 14 multi-point efforts throughout the regular season, Guenther recorded three multi-goal games. On February 25, 2020, Guenther recorded the first hat trick of his WHL career at home against the Winnipeg ICE.
From January 17 to February 7, 2020, Guenther enjoyed an eight-game point streak where he recorded 11 points (4G, 7A). Guenther was named the WHL Rookie of the Month for February 2020.
In his WHL career, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound 17-year-old Guenther has appeared in 66 WHL regular season games, recording 63 points (29G, 34A). During the 2019 WHL Playoffs, Guenther appeared in three games with the Oil Kings.
WHL Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Year are voted upon annually by WHL General Managers and Head Coaches. The winner of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy for WHL Rookie of the Year will be announced on Friday, May 15.
The Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy is presented annually to the player whose performance in their first season is deemed to be the most outstanding among all rookies.
A former owner of the Saskatoon Blades, Jim Piggott played a direct role in the formation of the Western Canadian Hockey League, now known as the WHL. Along with Del Wilson, Piggott played a critical role in the unification of all three Major Junior leagues across Canada into what is now known as the Canadian Hockey League.
Winners of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy / WHL Rookie of the Year Award (since 2000):
2018-19: Brayden Tracey, Moose Jaw Warriors
2017-18: Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge Hurricanes
2016-17: Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos
2015-16: Matthew Phillips, Victoria Royals
2014-15: Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings
2013-14: Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets
2012-13: Seth Jones, Portland Winterhawks
2011-12: Sam Reinhart, Kootenay ICE
2010-11: Mathew Dumba, Red Deer Rebels
2009-10: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Red Deer Rebels
2008-09: Brett Connolly, Prince George Cougars
2007-08: Brayden Schenn, Brandon Wheat Kings
2006-07: Kyle Beach, Everett Silvertips
2005-06: Peter Mueller, Everett Silvertips
2004-05: Tyler Plante, Brandon Wheat Kings
2003-04: Gilbert Brule, Vancouver Giants
2002-03: Matt Ellison, Red Deer Rebels
2001-02: Braydon Coburn, Portland Winterhawks
2000-01: Scottie Upshall, Kamloops Blazers
1999-00: Dan Blackburn, Kootenay ICE