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South Surrey WHL player gets trophy nom after zero-penalty-minute season

Tri-City Americans forward Jordan Gavin, 17, up for Most Sportsmanlike Player award
South Surrey WHL (Tri-City Americans) player Jordan Gavin is up for the Brad Hornung Memorial Trophy for Most Sportsmanlike Player, after recording zero penalty minutes in a 68-point season. (John Keller/Tri-City Americans photo)

A South Surrey hockey player has been named a finalist for the Western Hockey League (WHL)’s Brad Hornung Memorial Tophy – awarded annually to the WHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player – with a pretty amazing statistic: zero penalty minutes the entire season.

At 17, it’s Jordan Gavin’s second WHL season playing with the Tri-City Americans, who are based out of Kennewick, Washington. It was also a historic season for him, as he recorded 68 points (23-45-68) in 68 games, and did so while not taking a single minor penalty.

“Never in the history of the Western Hockey League has a player recorded a point-per-game season with zero penalty minutes,” a release on the Tri-City Americans website states.

“There’s some good players that get nominated for that award, so just to be in the running with those kind of players is pretty special. It feels pretty cool,” Jordan said from his South Surrey home last week.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s Jordan Gavin to wear Team Canada hockey jersey at Hlinka Gretzky Cup

He hadn’t really thought about his stats during the regular season, he said.

“I just kind of go out there and play my game. I don’t want to put my team on the disadvantage… I feel like I’m smart with my stick – it just kind of happened naturally.”

During hockey season, he lives with his billet family in Washington, but his family – parents, sisters and often, grandparents – come and see him play as much as possible – in Vancouver, all over Washington State and places like Portland, Oregon.

“He could’ve ended up in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, so it’s nice,” dad Kevin Morgan said.

“It’s a good, fun family experience.”

Of course, he’s happy for his son’s trophy nomination.

“To be in that company as a 17-year-old is pretty special – I’m definitely proud of him as a Dad, to see where he’s gotten so far.”

Kevin and his father grew up playing hockey, which is why Jordan said he likely started playing as a youngster.

“I just kind of wanted to follow in their footsteps a little bit… I was having a lot of fun playing hockey when I was younger, so from the start I knew this was what I wanted to do. It became my passion,” Jordan said.

The 2025 NHL Draft-eligible forward was selected by Tri-City second overall in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, and he also represented Team Canada Black at the 2022 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, where he netted a goal and an assist in six games.

For the Brad Hornung Memorial Trophy, he’s up against three other nominees: Jordan Keller with the Kamloops Blazers, the Edmonton Oil King’s Gavin Hodnett and Brayden Yager with the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The winner will be revealed on Thursday, May 2.

Jordan, who has adjusted to living in the U.S. during hockey season, credits his billet family for making the transition easy for him.

“They’re a great family, great people. They’ve been really good to me – they made the adjustment a lot easier,” he said, noting there are some Canadian differences the American family has noticed.

“They pick up some words – I think I said ‘garburator’ once around them – I guess they call it trash disposal or something, so they were completely shocked when I said that. They had no idea what I meant,” he said.

Growing up skating out of Centennial Arena in White Rock, Jordan still has fond memories of the place.

“We always skated out of Centennial. It’s a smaller rink but it just holds a special place… that’s where I grew up playing and practicing, so it’s special to go back there every once in awhile.”

While many of his teammates and other players in the WHL will be eligible for the NHL Draft this year, Jordan’s November birthday means he must wait until next year to see if – and where – he might be drafted.

“I think it would be special getting drafted anywhere in the NHL,” he said.

“Growing up, my favourite team was Vancouver, obviously, so that’d be cool – to play for my hometown team – but just getting drafted anywhere, to any (NHL) team would be special.”

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’ve worked as a journalist in community newspapers from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey.
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