After a dominant season that produced eye-popping numbers, Minnesota Wild goaltending prospect Darcy Kuemper
has been named the Western Hockey League's Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year.
Kuemper backstopped the Red Deer Rebels to a Central Division title by posting a 45-12-5 record. The Wild's 2009 sixth-round draft pick led all WHL goaltenders in every major statistical category including wins, goals-against average (1.86), save percentage (.933) and shutouts (13). HIs shutout total tied the WHL single-season record.
During the regular season, he lost back-to-back decisions on only two occasions. He was named the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week three times during the regular season – the only goalie in the CHL to win the award three times this year – and was named the Vaughn WHL Goaltender of the Month for January.
Originally selected by the Spokane Chiefs in the 3rd round, 45th overall, of the 2005 WHL Bantam Draft, Kuemper was acquired by the Rebels in 2007 and has played 178 regular-season games for Red Deer over the last three seasons.
There could be more hardware coming Kuemper's way. He is now the WHL’s nominee for the CHL Player of the Year at the Canadian Hockey League Awards, which will be handed out during the 2011 MasterCard Memorial in Mississauga, Ontario.