The Silvertips had Tuesday off as they prepare for Saturday’s home opener against the Portland Winterhawks.
Nevertheless, there is some significant news to pass along. Forward Patrick Bajkov is back after attending camp with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. In addition, head coach Dennis Williams announced the captains and alternates on the first Silvertips Hockey Show of the season on KRKO 1380-AM Tuesday evening.
Forward Matt Fonteyne and defenseman Kevin Davis will serve as co-captains and wear a “C” for the Tips. Both are overage players entering their fifth WHL campaign. Bajkov and 18-year-old forward Connor Dewar were named alternates and will an “A” on their sweaters.
— Chris Mast (@MastImages) September 20, 2017
Williams noted to Tips broadcaster Mike Benton that the leadership group contains both vocal and “lead-by-example” players.
“I think what you see there with that group is you’ve got a really good mix of those players,” Williams said on the show. “You don’t want too many of the same guys on your leadership group, but the one thing that really brought it to my attention is the leadership of those three veterans that have been in the league for a number of years. And adding a guy like Conner for the future, you know how he plays. He’s 110 percent every shift.”
Fonteyne and Bajkov are entering their fourth season of playing on the same line, and tend to be more vocal in the media. Davis and Dewar are less vocal – at least to media members – but ferocious on the ice. Dewar, in particular, was nicknamed “The Pitbull” by Benton last season and it’s an apt description. He’s missed just one game in two seasons as a Silvertip.
“I do think you can learn a lot from that group,” Williams said. “I couldn’t be happier because this is how we kind of saw it as as a staff.”
Fonteyne and Davis were each alternate captains last season. Fellow 2012 bantam draftee Noah Juulsen was last year’s captain. Juulsen is now playing professionally in the Montreal Canadiens organization.
“We just don’t just to have a great hockey team, we want to have a great hockey program year-in and year-out,” Williams said. “(We want) to do as well as we can to win as many championships and raise as many banners as we can. That starts with your leaders. To me they’re an extension of our coaching staff.”
Scenes from a great show.
Thx Fonzie, Coach! pic.twitter.com/ImSKuf4zcz
— Mike Benton (@Benton_Mike) September 20, 2017
Meanwhile, Bajkov on Monday became the second of three Silvertips attending NHL camps to return to Everett.
“You learn a lot going down there and seeing what it takes to get to the next level,” Bajkov said. “It was a pretty big step forward. They cut down to a few less guys and having the NHL players there was a big eye opener as well.”
The presence of current NHLers differs from summer development camp, which Bajkov attended during the summer.
“They all came up and introduced themselves, so that made it a little easier,” he said. “Some of them were saying they remember when they were young guys coming into camp, and how much it helped when the older guys would come up and talk to them a little bit.”
In other news:
– The first WHL injury report was released Tuesday. Rookie forward Ethan Browne is listed as being out 1-2 weeks with an upper body injury. Browne left Friday’s preseason game against Seattle after the second period and was scratched for Saturday’s preseason finale in Kent. Defenseman Kyle Walker (broken collarbone) remains out 4-6 weeks, and goaltender Dustin Wolf (hip surgery) is out 6-8 weeks.
– Goalie Carter Hart remains away at the Philadelphia Flyers camp. He missed Everett’s first two regular-season games last September while at Philly’s training camp.
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