The Western Hockey League (WHL) announced their 2010-11 award winners at a ceremony this afternoon in Calgary, AB. For the second season in a row, an Avalanche prospect was awarded the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy, for WHL Defenseman of the Year. Last year, Tyson Barrie received the honor. This season, it went to Saskatoon Blades defenseman Stefan Elliott.
Elliott, who recently signed an entry-level contract with the Avalanche, led all defenseman in scoring with 31 goals and 50 assists in 71 regular season games. He and the Blades had the best record in the WHL and were one of the favorites for the Memorial Cup. He and his mates were upset and swept in the second round of the playoffs by the Kootenay Ice.
Elliott recorded eight points in 10 post-season games before joing the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) for their first round series against the Manitoba Moose. He suited up for five games with the Monsters as the club lost their first round series against Manitoba in seven games. Elliott had two assists in the five games he played.
Elliott is expected to compete for a spot on the Avalanche blueline in the 2011-12 season, but may see some seasoning with the Monsters. Barrie, who was runner-up to Elliott, is also expected to start his professional career this fall with the Monsters.