2nd half beginning, Skapski leads the reinforcements

The second half of the season gets underway for the Silvertips on Friday at Seattle, and the the Tips will have a different look when they take the ice.

Everett brought in four players for the start of the second half to fill in for those on international duty. Chief among those is 16-year-old winger Mitch Skapski. Skapski was one of the pieces Everett acquired in the Seth Jones trade, but the Abbotsford, B.C., native didn’t attend training camp as he instead committed to Chilliwack of the BCHL. However, he decided to sign with the Tips and will remain with the team the rest of the season. Skapski, a fourth-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft, is a little guy (5-foot-9, 155 pounds). But despite his size he’s known as something of an agitator, and he has a history of being a point producer as well. He had three goals and five assists in 29 games with Chilliwack as the team’s only 16-year-old.

With Skapski now in the fold, Everett has three of the four pieces from the Jones trade in place: Skapski, 16-year-old winger Tyler Sandhu and 18-year-old defenseman Ben Betker. Eighteen-year-old defenseman Reece Willcox is firmly ensconced at Cornell University.

The Tips also called up three others temporarily to fill out the lineup until players return from international tournaments. Sixteen-year-old winger Kyle Raymond (seventh round 2011) and 15-year-old defenseman Kevin Davis (first round 2012), both based in B.C., were already signed and named as players who would be called up after the Christmas break. Also called up was 17-year-old winger Logan Aasman. The Medicine Hat, Alberta, native is an undrafted player who has 12 goals and six assists in 21 games with the Southeast Tigers of the AMHL.

The call-ups are necessary because Everett has three players competing in international tournaments. Defenseman Mirco Mueller is playing for Switzerland at the World Junior Hockey Championships, and he had a quality debut in the tournament as he had two assists and was a plus-2 in Switzerland’s opening 7-2 victory over Latvia. Meanwhile, Sandhu and center Ty Mappin are preparing to begin play with Team Pacific for the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. Winger Dawson Leedahl was scheduled to play for Team West in the tournament, but is sidelined with MCL injury in his knee. That injury, suffered Dec. 11 at Tri-City, typically has a 4-8 week recovery period.

Everett has two other players who are questionable for Friday’s game at Seattle. Winger Ryan Harrison came down with the flu during the break, delaying his return to Everett. Center Kohl Bauml, who’s dealing with a shoulder injury, practiced today, but is still awaiting the green light from the doctors.

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