February 22nd, 2024

McKenna wins second straight WHL rookie of the week

By JAMES TUBB on January 31, 2024.

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

Gavin Mckenna is stringing it together.

The 16-year-old Medicine Hat Tigers forward was named the WHL’s rookie of the week for the second straight time.

He led all WHLers with three goals, four assists and a plus-two rating in two matches as the Tigers went 1-0-0-1 for the week in a 6-5 shootout loss Friday to Moose Jaw and a 5-3 win Saturday over the Warriors.

Associate coach Joe Frazer says McKenna has always shown he can play with the puck but is starting to find more success with his play off the puck.

“He’s really taking care of his own end a lot better, which that great defence is leading to offence,” Frazer said. “I think because he’s playing so hard without the puck, he has it more and when he has the puck, usually good things happen. He’s always had the offensive skill and I think he’s really working on playing without the puck so I think he has it more and more good plays are happening.”

McKenna has 10 goals and 31 points in the Tigers’ 15 games since returning from the holiday break. The Whitehorse product has outpaced his first half production of 11 goals and 32 points in 26 games. Through 41 games this season, he has 21 goals and 63 points.

The Tigers are off until Friday when they are at Saskatoon to face the WHL-leading Blades before heading to Prince Albert on Saturday to battle the Raiders, the first time this season they’ve played either team on the road.

They remain in second place in the Eastern conference and atop the Central division with a record of 29-14-3-1. They lead the Red Deer Rebels in the division by three points, with the Rebels having played two fewer games and in action tonight against Prince Albert.

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