Ty Ronning at Pink Shirt Day anti-bullying activities in 2017. (Ty Ronning photo)

WATCH: Langley-based Giants player scores at Western Hockey League awards

Ty Ronning not only had a stellar season on ice but he also earned the league’s humanitarian honours.

Ty Ronning is the first ever Vancouver Giants player to win the league’s Humanitarian of the Year Award.

The Western Hockey League handed out the hardware Wednesday in Red Deer, naming Ronning the 2017-18 Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy as the WHL Humanitarian of the Year.

“It’s a huge honor to receive this award and to be recognized for all of the positive things that the Vancouver Giants have done in the community over the years,” said Ronning. “Receiving this award is right up there for me with being drafted to the NHL. I’ve always tried to be the best person I could possibly be and whether it was signing an autograph, visiting classrooms and hospitals or just having a good conversation with our fans – To be nominated and to have receive this award is awesome.”

Ronning nomination details:

“The on-ice contributions of Ty Ronning to the success of the Vancouver Giants has been measured in goals, assists, points, and wins, but when it comes to his contributions off the ice, Ronning’s contributions are measured in the number of smiling faces from young fans.

“His desire to spread kindness and do good for others has forever etched the overage forward as a fan and community favourite with the Giants organization.

“Ronning has volunteered his time at the Vancouver Giants Hockey School and the team’s Read to Succeed Initiative. Additionally, Ronning spent extra time on the ice at the team’s Family Day skate in an effort to leave a positive impact on his community. In classrooms regularly, Ronning took time out of his schedule to speak with students at Our Lady of Sorrows School and St. Helens Elementary School, discussing the importance of perseverance and strong work ethic.

“Ronning’s positive contributions to the community can be exhibited in two cases. Earlier this season, he received a letter from a fan in Burnaby, B.C. Instead of simply writing back, Ronning personally delivered a Giants’ jacket to the young fan’s house.

“The New York Rangers prospect also developed a friendship with another Giants fan. As the former high school classmates continued to reconnect, Ronning welcomed the fan as a guest at Giants games throughout the season. The efforts and generosity from Ronning has served to further engrain a love for hockey within this fan.

“Ronning’s continued commitment to fans of all ages and his uplifting approach to the surrounding community has established a culture of positivity on and off the ice within the Giants’ organization.”

During the 2017-18 season, Ronning made history as the first Giants player to surpass the 50 and then 60 goal mark when he made 61 goals. Ronning’s 127 career goals rank him second all-time in Giants history and his 218 points rank him fourth.

The Giants’ Bowan Byram was nominated at the 2017-18 Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Rookie of the Year.

His nomination backgrounder read: ”Selected in the first round (third overall) by the Giants at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, Byram emerged as a reliable defenceman at the young age of 16. Dressing in 60 games during the 2017-18 WHL regular season, the product of Cranbrook, B.C., proved productive in all facets of the game, topped off with 27 points (6G-21A). That mark was good enough to rank him second in scoring among all WHL rookie defencemen. Byram is eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.”

The WHL consists of 22 member clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. On Wednesday, the league also announced the Eastern and Western Conference all-star teams. David Tendeck in goal and Ronning were named to the second all-star team.

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