Everett had four overagers with just three overage roster spots available. All four players were quality candidates.
So it was with some misgivings that the Tips made their decision Tuesday.
Everett cleared up its overage situation by trading winger Reid Petryk to the Edmonton Oil Kings in exchange for a pair of bantam draft picks: a third rounder in the 2014 bantam draft and a sixth rounder in 2015.
The trade means winger Joshua Winquist, center Manraj Hayer and defenseman Matt Pufahl will be Everett's three 20-year-olds this season. But coming to that conclusion was no easy task for the Tips.
"It was a decision that I played around with in my mind day after day," Everett general manager Garry Davidson said. "It's certainly something we were all struggling with.
"It was a very difficult decision," Davidson added. "I thought all four players were very capable and could contribute to what we're doing. But in the end there were just a few little things that made the difference."
Petryk spent a season-and-a-half with Everett after being acquired from Medicine Hat in January of 2012. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder had 27 goals and 33 assists in 103 games with the Tips. He played once this season without scoring. Last season, he was named the team's Unsung Hero, and this September he received an invitation to attend training camp with the NHL's Edmonton Oilers.
In being traded to the Oil Kings, Petryk heads home as he hails from Edmonton. He also joins a team that won the WHL championship two seasons ago and finished as league runners-up last season.
"I think he was a real plus for us," Davidson said about Petryk's time in Everett. "He was a real quality person on and off the ice. He lived up to our expectations of what a Silvertip should be. It's unfortunate we weren't able to keep them all. I can't say anything more about Reid other than it's all positive.
"There were several teams interested (in Petryk)," Davidson added. "We moved him to a place where he should have a comfort level, and it's a real good program. It should be a good environment to finish out his last year of junior eligibility."
Petryk was not available for comment.
Everett had a dilemma with its overager situation. The Tips had four candidates who all brought something different to the table.
Winquist was the team's leading scorer last season and leads the team in scoring so far this season. Pufahl is a defenseman who was acquired during the offseason to add experience on the blue line. Hayer is a speedy center who was a major point producer in the preseason and Everett's first two games. Petryk is a big, strong winger who can also chip in offensively.
"I think the emergence of Manny at center was key, and he's really endeared himself to the whole coaching staff," Davidson said. "(Winquist) is a real goal scorer, and then we felt we needed to keep a defenseman.
"We're pretty comfortable with the three guys we kept. If Reid was in the mix, we'd be comfortable, too."
Davidson also mentioned the addition of power forward Jujhar Khaira to the roster helped temper the loss of Petryk's physical attributes.
Everett received a good return for Petryk. In comparison, defenseman Dalton Thrower, a second-round pick in the 2012 NHL draft, was acquired by Vancouver for a second-round pick. Center Shane McColgan, who has 268 points in 281 career games, cost Portland a third and a seventh.
The third-rounder Everett acquired in 2014 is Prince George's pick, while the sixth-rounder in 2015 is Edmonton's. The third rounder helps compensate for the 2014 second-rounder Everett surrendered to Portland as part of the agreement for hiring Davidson as general manager.
Davidson said Petryk's trade value also factored into the decision.
"When I reached out to see the value of players, Reid probably was able to garner more value, being a big, strong power forward," Davidson said. "There were a couple teams very interested, so that's the way it shook out."
Petryk's trade leaves Everett with 25 players on the roster: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders.
Check out Nick Patterson's Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.
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