Well, it was quite the day for the Tips. Everett selected 13 players in the bantam draft — seven forwards, five defensemen and one goaltender. The 13 players ties the team’s first bantam draft in 2003 for the most the Tips have taken in a single draft. Everett also pulled off two trades, bidding farewell to forwards Jari Erricson and Jordyn Boyd. So new general manager Garry Davidson certainly is off to a substantial start in shaping the team’s roster and protected list to his liking.
First let’s get the details out of the way. Here’s Everett’s picks, with round and overall position:
1 (11): Kevin Davis, defenseman
3 (57): Austin Mathews, right wing
3 (59): Nik Amundrud, goaltender
3 (66): Matt Fonteyne, center
4 (70): Noah Juulson, defenseman
5 (98): Jordan Wharrie, defenseman
6 (128): Patrick Bajkov, right wing
7 (136): Daniel Woolfenden, defenseman
8 (158): Carson Richards, righ wing
9 (180): Jake Durflinger, right wing
10 (201): Desmond Nevin, defenseman
11 (220): Michael Wirth, right wing
12 (231): Alex Mehr, center
Now here’s Everett’s trades:
– Everett sent the seventh pick overall, Erricson and a conditional future fourth rounder to Prince George in exchange for the 11th pick overall, a third rounder (57th overall) and the rights to 1994-born winger Jujhar Kharia.
– Everett sent Boyd to Kootenay in exchange for a fifth rounder (98th overall).
Let’s break this down with bullet points:
– Davidson said the Tips wanted a defensemen in the first round, with Davis one of two players targeted. Everett moved down because the Tips believed Davis would still be available at 11, as he was, and they wanted another pick. Erricson was included because the Cougars wanted to bring the Prince George native home. Kharia has the ability to be a top-line forward, but is committed to Michigan Tech, so the Tips have a recruiting pitch to make. Kharia is expected to be selected in the upcoming NHL draft, so that may influence his decision.
– Boyd was moved because the Tips have a ton of returning forwards as well as several prospects ready to make the jump. So he was caught in the numbers game.
– Davidson was very happy with the way the draft unfolded for the Tips. The general theme among Everett’s picks was finding players who can skate.
– Davis, who’s described as being a mobile puck-mover with great hockey sense, was thrilled to be taken 11th overall. I talked to the Kamloops, B.C., native and he said he’s 100-percent committed to the WHL (and he knows all about Ryan Murray).
– Mathews, from Phoenix, was described as a top-10 talent who fell because of questions about whether he’ll play in the WHL. But Davidson was particularly happy with drafting him. Mehr, a Californian, was also described as being worthy of being selected in the top two rounds, but he’s said to be leaning toward the U.S. NTDP.
– In their 10th ever draft, the Tips finally picked a local product in Woolfenden, who is from Mill Creek. Woolfenden is believed to be just the second Snohomish County resident ever selected in the bantam draft. Forward Brad LeLievre from Mill Creek was selected by Seattle in the seventh round in 2010.
– For the most part the Tips selected modestly-sized players — with one huge exception. Nevin, the only player listed as taller than 6-0, is a 6-6 project.
– Everett’s draft was dominated by players from B.C. (five) and the U.S. (four). I can’t recall the Tips ever drafting four Americans before.