Hitmen's Nyren honoured

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:31 AM ET

Days after his Calgary Hitmen claimed the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions, Giffen Nyren was handed a little credit for his contributions in making it happen.

The 20-year-old defenceman was named WHL player of the week Monday after netting a goal and five points to go along with a plus-three rating in the last three games of the WHL final series against the Tri-City Americans last week.

“I was a little bit surprised, but I was happy,” the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder said Monday.

“To be honest, that last series flew by. I didn’t realize that happened — that I had five points. It was kind of just a blur.

“There’s lots of guys that are deserving of that ... but it definitely feels great to get that.”

Joining his hometown club in a deal with the Kamloops Blazers this season, the Calgarian took his game to another level in the post-season.

His five goals and 18 playoff points ranked him second among WHL blueliners and 10th in league scoring.

“I mean, it’s the playoffs, right? You’ve got to (take your game to another level),” Nyren said. “I don’t know. Maybe there’s more of a responsibility in the playoffs. Maybe your confidence goes up.

“I definitely gained a couple of notches of confidence through those first two series. It enabled me to perform my best in the last two.”

Kozun out of practice

Brandon Kozun didn’t take the ice with the Hitmen Monday as they practised for the first time since winning the WHL title Friday.

The dynamic winger was walking around the Dome with a boot on his right foot.

“Just to make sure I don’t move it so it heals up faster,” said Kozun, who hasn’t revealed the specifics of his “lower-body” injury.

“It’s just precautionary.”

The 5-foot-9 forward said it won’t stop him from playing in Brandon this weekend when the Memorial Cup tournament kicks off.

“I don’t think so,” Kozun said. “Maybe I’ll feel it a little bit. “I don’t think it will be a major issue.”

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca


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