Everett’s veterans and list players checked in this afternoon in preparation for training camp, which officially gets underway Thursday. Here’s some notes from check-in:
– The most notable absence from check-in was defenseman Mirco Mueller. The 19-year-old from Switzerland, who was the San Jose Sharks’ first-round pick in the 2013 NHL draft, is heading straight to San Jose to prepare for Sharks camp.
There’s been talk about Mueller perhaps making the Sharks roster this season as an underage player. I don’t know that I’m convinced he’s ready for the NHL yet, but people who keep close watch on the Sharks tell me San Jose has cleared defensemen out and is planning on going young, so maybe Mueller has a legitimate shot. Mueller will almost certainly begin the season with the Sharks and play at least some of the nine games he can appear in before his rookie contract kicks in. If he doesn’t stick with the Sharks, he’ll be back in Everett.
– Also not in attendance was Russian forward Alexander Zhebelev, Everett’s selection in this year’s import draft. The 17-year-old Zhebelev, who played for Russia at the just-completed Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, has not made a commitment to play for Everett, though Tips general manager Garry Davidson said it could still happen. Zhebelev is weighing Everett versus an offer from the KHL.
– Otherwise, all the veteran returners are here, as well as those rookies who were expected to compete for roster spots. One invitee of note is 19-year-old forward Christian Stockl, who spent the past two seasons with Red Deer. Stockl hasn’t had much success in his WHL career thus far — four goals and seven assists in 78 games — but he was a big-time scorer at the midget level in Manitoba, where he formed a feared line with current Silvertip Remi Laurencelle and former Silvertip prospect Geordie Maguire.
– The five players Everett listed in the spring will all be at training camp, including highly-touted goaltender Dayton Rasmussen. Rasmussen, a 16-year-old from Minnesota, just got done representing the U.S. at the U-17 Five Nations Tournament in Germany. He hasn’t arrived yet, but is due in town Friday and will be on the ice Saturday.
Eighteen-year-old defenseman Tristen Pfeifer, 16-year-old defensemen Cory Babichuk and Avery Belcourt, and 16-year-old forward Spencer Gerth are already here.
– Of Everett’s 15 picks in this year’s bantam draft, five are not in attendance. Forwards Nick Henry (third round) and Brian King (fourth rounder) are not attending because they are injured. Defenseman Nate Knoepke (ninth round), Matt Anderson (10th round) and Reid Hill (11th round), all of whom are from Minnesota and were flyer selctions, chose not to attend.