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First Nations’ Ethan Bear wins hockey honor

Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Ethan Bear holds the Western Hockey League Defenseman of the Year trophy he won this season. (WHL photo)

CALGARY, Alberta — The Western Hockey League announced May 3 that Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Ethan Bear, 19, has been named the WHL Defenseman of the Year. The announcement was made at the WHL awards luncheon in Calgary, Alberta. Bear is from Ochapowace First Nation in Saskatchewan.

“I’m proud of who I am and where I come from and I get lots of support,” Bear told the Edmonton Journal in a 2015 article. “It’s really special. I really love my heritage.”

Bear had 12 points in six games to help Seattle top Regina in the WHL championship series.

Bear had 28 goals and 42 assists for 70 points in 67 games during the regular season. In 264 career games over four seasons Bear has 66 goals and 126 assists for 192 points.
Bear was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth round, 124th overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft. He signed a three-year entry level contract with the Oilers on July 2, 2016.

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