Portland Winterhawks

The Portland Winterhawks are a junior ice hockey team based in Portland, Oregon, playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL), one of three leagues making up the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The Winterhawks split their home games between the Moda Center (most games) and the Memorial Coliseum. They are one of the most successful teams in terms of producing National Hockey League (NHL) alumni, a list that includes Sven Baertschi, Joe Morrow, Ryan Johansen, Braydon Coburn, Adam Deadmarsh, Rob Klinkhammer, Brandon Dubinsky, Tyler Wotherspoon, Andrew Ference, Paul Gaustad, Jannik Hansen, Marian Hossa, Seth Jones, Brenden Morrow, Nino Niederreiter, Mike Vernon, Glen Wesley and Hall of Famers Mark Messier and Cam Neely.

Portland Winterhawks
CityPortland, Oregon
LeagueWestern Hockey League
Founded1951, in the WCHL
Home arenaModa Center
Veterans Memorial Coliseum
ColorsRed, white and black
General managerMike Johnston
Head coachMike Johnston
ChampionshipsWestern Hockey League Champions (1982, 1998, 2013)
Memorial Cup Champions (1983, 1998)
Franchise history
1951–1976Edmonton Oil Kings (WCHL)
19762009Portland Winter Hawks
2009–presentPortland Winterhawks

The Winterhawks have won the Ed Chynoweth Cup three times and the Memorial Cup twice in five appearances (1982, 1983, 1986, 1998, 2013). The team has been in Portland since 1976–77.


Previous owner Brian Shaw was a pioneer in many aspects of junior hockey, moving a team to the United States and championing the host team format of the Memorial Cup.

The Winterhawks were also pioneers of promotion and are credited with the invention of the "Dash for Cash," in which contestants are picked to run onto the ice and try to scoop up as many silver dollars in two minutes as they can. This popular promotion has been running for many years. Moreover, in late November/early December, they hold their annual teddy bear toss, in which fans throw teddy bears on the ice at the first Portland goal, which are then donated to local children's charities. On December 6, 2008, fans threw out 22,392 teddy bears after Luke Walker scored Portland's first goal against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

The Winterhawks wear jerseys similar to those of the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL, causing some to erroneously assume that the Winterhawks are a minor league farm team of the Blackhawks. In actuality, the jerseys originally worn by the first Winterhawks team were a used set of Chicago jerseys obtained through connections between the owners of the two teams. In early photos, the old Chicago jerseys are identifiable by the letter "C" with crossed tomahawks on the shoulder crest. The Winterhawks eventually changed the "C" to a "P".

The Portland-Chicago connection runs deeper, as the Blackhawks were founded in 1926 by Frederic McLaughlin, who simply bought the contracts of most of the members of the Portland Rosebuds and brought them to Chicago.

In the 2009–10 season, the Winterhawks introduced an alternate "Hawk Eyes" logo as part of a new advertising campaign that featured lightning flashes on a mottled black background and the SMS-style words, "LOC8, NTMD8, DVST8" (read: "locate, intimidate, devastate"). In 2010–11, an alternate Hawk Head logo was added, with a similar design as the Blackhawks logo, but featuring only the three team colors: red, white and black. A new third jersey was also created with the Hawk Eyes on the front over stylized, mottled black fabric throughout; player names, numbers and accents are in gunmetal gray, and the new tri-color Hawk Head is featured as the shoulder patch.

On November 28, 2012, the WHL announced sanctions against the Winterhawks for a series of player benefits violations over the four previous seasons. As punishment for the violations WHL Commissioner Ron Robison suspended the team from participation in the first five rounds of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft and forfeiture of their first round picks from the 2014 to 2017 WHL Bantam Drafts and were fined $200,000. The WHL also suspended General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston for the remainder of the 2012–13 season, including the 2013 WHL playoffs.[1]

On May 12, 2013, the Winterhawks defeated the Edmonton Oil Kings 5–1 in Game 6 to become the 2012–13 WHL champions.

On April 25, 2014, the Winterhawks defeated the Kelowna Rockets 7–3 to win their fourth-consecutive Western Conference Championship.

On May 30, 2017, the Winterhawks signed NHL draft pick Kieffer Bellows. On October 1, 2017 the Winterhawks acquired NHL draft pick Dennis Cholowski.


The team mascot of the Winterhawks is a white bird with multicolored tail and wing feathers, named Tom-A-Hawk. Tom-A-Hawk was introduced in 1999–2000. He wears jersey number 00. Tom-A-Hawk's main rival is Cool Bird of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Tom-A-Hawk announced in January 2019 that he would retire. A new mascot was introduced, Tommy.

Name change

The team was known as the Winter Hawks until May 2009, when it issued a press release that "the space...announced its retirement" and that the team was renaming itself the Winterhawks.[2][3]

Current ownership

Bill Gallacher, a Calgary businessman, purchased the team in October 2008.


The Portland Winterhawks have changed announcers 5 times since 1976. These include: Unknown (1976-1982), Dean "Scooter" Vrooman (1982-2007), Andy Kemper (2004-2018), Todd Vrooman (2007-2017), Evan Richardson (2017-2018), Nick Marek (2018–Present).

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

1976–777236297-359294793rd WestLost semi-final
1977–7872412011-361296931st WestEliminated in West Division round robin
1978–7972491013-4322651111st WestLost final
1979–807253181-3982931071st WestEliminated in West Division round robin
1980–817256151-4432661132nd WestLost West Division final
1981–827246242-380323941st WestWon championship
1982–837250220-4953871001st WestLost final; Won Memorial Cup
1983–847233390-430449663rd WestLost West Division final
1984–857227441-365442554th WestLost West Division semi-final
1985–867247241-438348952nd WestLost West Division final; Memorial Cup host
1986–877247232-439355962nd WestLost final
1987–887224453-328449516th WestOut of playoffs
1988–897240284-408395841st WestLost final
1989–907224453-322426515th WestOut of playoffs
1990–917217532-298450365th WestOut of playoffs
1991–927231374-314342665th WestLost West Division quarter-final
1992–937245243-343275931st WestLost final
1993–947249221-392260992nd WestLost West Division final
1994–957223436-240308526th WestLost West Division semi-final
1995–967230393-283301636th WestLost West Division quarter-final
1996–977246215-300196971st WestLost West Division quarter-final
1997–987253145-3422031111st WestWon championship and Memorial Cup
1998–9972233613-215278595th WestLost West Division quarter-final
1999–0072164970173296397th WestOut of playoffs
2000–0172372753254237822nd WestLost final
2001–0272362556269243831st U.S.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2002–0372194085192243513rd U.S.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2003–0472342963199206772nd U.S.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2004–0572352755204198802nd U.S.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2005–0672323235204258723rd U.S.Lost Western Conference semi-final
2006–0772175212146316375th U.S.Out of playoffs
2007–0872115821132318255th U.S.Out of playoffs
2008–0972194832176288435th U.S.Out of playoffs
2009–1072442521266241914th U.S.Lost Western Conference semi-final
2010–11725019033032271031st U.S.Lost final
2011–12724919313282291022nd U.S.Lost final
2012–13725712123341691171st U.S.Won championship; Lost Memorial Cup final
2013–14725413233382071131st U.S.Lost final
2014–1572432324287237922nd U.S.Lost Western Conference final
2015–1672343161228227753rd U.S.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2016–1772402813278256844th U.S.Lost Western Conference semi-final
2017–1872442215274214942nd U.S.Lost Western Conference semi-final
2018–1968402233258210863rd U.S.Lost Western Conference quarter-final

Current roster

Updated November 28, 2019.[4]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Drafted
27 Jonas Brøndberg D L 18 2019 Aalborg, Denmark Undrafted
29 Nick Cicek D L 19 2015 Winnipeg, Manitoba Undrafted
35 Isaiah DiLaura G L 19 2019 Elko New Market, Minnesota Undrafted
22 Jaydon Dureau LW L 18 2016 White City, Saskatchewan Undrafted
11 Robbie Fromm-Delorme RW R 17 2017 Richmond, British Columbia Eligible 2020
20 Kishaun Gervais LW L 18 2016 Yorkton, Saskatchewan Eligible 2020
9 Lane Gilliss (A) LW L 20 2016 Calgary, Alberta Undrafted
14 Jake Gricius C L 20 2016 Colorado Springs, Colorado Undrafted
58 Clay Hanus D L 18 2016 Minnetonka, Minnesota Undrafted
71 Cross Hanas LW L 17 2017 Highland Village, Texas Eligible 2020
30 Joel Hofer G L 19 2019 Winnipeg, Manitoba 2018, 107th Overall, STL
24 Seth Jarvis C R 17 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba Eligible 2020
36 Simon Knak RW L 17 2019 Kloten, Switzerland Eligible 2020
18 Tyson Kozak C L 16 2017 Souris, Manitoba Eligible 2021
15 John Ludvig (C) D L 19 2017 Kamloops, British Columbia 2019, 69th Overall, FLA
26 Mason Mannek (A) C R 19 2017 Herriman, Utah Undrafted
12 Reece Newkirk (A) C L 18 2016 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan 2019, 147th Overall, NYI
2 Kade Nolan D L 18 2016 Rouleau, Saskatchewan Undrafted
92 Jack O'Brien C L 16 2018 Denver, Colorado Eligible 2021
5 Matthew Quigley (A) D L 20 2016 Chestermere, Alberta Undrafted
23 Kurtis Smythe D L 17 2018 Cloverdale, British Columbia Eligible 2020
13 James Stefan RW R 16 2018 Laguna Beach, California Eligible 2021


WHL Championship history

Memorial Cup finals history

  • 1983: Win, 8-3 vs Oshawa
  • 1998: Win, 4-3 OT vs Guelph
  • 2013: loss, 4-6 vs Halifax

Team records

Team records for a single season
Most points1172012–13
Most wins572012–13
Fewest 1st round draft picks02015–16
Fewest goals for1462006–07
Most goals against4501990–91
Individual player records for a single season
Most goalsRandy Heath; Dennis Holland821982–83; 1988–89
Most assistsJim Benning1111980–81
Most pointsDennis Holland1671988–89
Most points, rookieCam Neely1201982–83
Most points, defencemanJim Benning1391980–81
Best GAA (Goalie)Blake Grenier2.062004–05
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played
Individual player records for a career
Most games playedTroy Rutkowski3512012–13
Most goalsDennis Holland179
Most assistsTodd Robinson325
Most pointsTodd Robinson470
Most points, defenceman
Best GAA (Goalie)Mac Carruth2.85
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played

During the 2012–13 season, Winterhawks captain Troy Rutkowski established the new team record for most regular games played as a Winterhawk. His career total of 351 games surpassed the previous mark of 328 games set by Kevin Haupt in the 1998–99 season.[5]

NHL alumni

List of Portland Winterhawks alumni who have graduated to play in the National Hockey League.

bold = member of the Hockey Hall of Fame

First round draft picks

Players chosen in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft:


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-03-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Winterhawks' space announces retirement". Portland Winterhawks. 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  3. "Hockey team changes nickname ... cleverly". The Oregonian. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  4. "WHL Network". Western Hockey League. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  5. http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/jan/24/junior-hockey-report-rutkowski-to-set-winterhawks/
  6. https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/c/cunnicr01.html
  7. http://www.espn.com/nhl/player/_/id/3941970

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