With the Everett Silvertips out of town for much of the remainder of the regular season and the respective provincial midget playoffs going on, now seemed like a good time to look at some of the organization’s prospects from the last two bantam drafts.
It’s worth noting that signed players can join the Silvertips for the rest of the WHL regular and postseasons when their midget teams are eliminated from the playoffs. So far only Ethan Browne and Dustin Wolf have signed from the 2016 draft class.
F Ethan Browne (Round 1, 14th overall)
Sherwood Park, Alberta
The 5-11, 172-pound forward has nine goals and 20 assists in 27 games with the Sherwood Park Kings midget AAA team. The Kings take on SSAC Boston Pizza Athletics in the decisive Game 5 Wednesday in their second-round Alberta AAA midget playoff series.
Browne played one game with the Tips as an affiliate player call-up and also told me he felt like got off to a slow start in the midget ranks, but eventually settled in. The Tips wasted no time in signing Browne as they view him as a huge part of the team’s offensive future.
F Mark Liwiski (Round 3, 58th overall)
The 5-9, 152-pounder has continued to pile up prodigious scoring numbers for the Parkland Rangers midget AAA team. He has 25 goals and 29 assists for 54 points in 37 games while also adding 121 penalty minutes. The Rangers were swept in the first round of the Manitoba midget AAA playoffs by the top-seeded Winnipeg Wild.
Also he’s scheduled to be on the Tips radio show via phone tonight:
On the show, Tuesday night:
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) March 7, 2017
F Reece Vitelli (Round 4, 83rd overall)
The 5-7, 130-pounder had nine goals and 19 assists in 36 games for the Winnipeg Wild midget AAA team that swept Liwiski’s Rangers and now holds a 1-0 series lead over the Eastman Selects in the league semifinals.
D Alex Moar (Round 5, 102nd overall)
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
The 5-8, 154-pounder had one goal and 22 assists in 40 games with the Prince Albert Mintos, who begin their five-game playoff series with the Tisdale Trojans on Wednesday in Prince Albert.
G Dustin Wolf (Round 5, 104th overall)
The 5-10, 141-pounder signed with the Tips in January and is considered Everett’s goaltender of the future. He had a 1.63 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage in 18 regular-season games for the Los Angeles Junior Kings of the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League and a 2.38 GAA and a .936 save percentage in three playoff games.
F Dylan Holloway (Round 6, 121st overall)
Bragg Creek, Alberta
The 6-foot, 165-pounder had 13 goals and seven assists in 31 games for the Calgary Flames AAA midget team, but Holloway has committed to the University of Wisconsin so he seems to be a long shot to ever play in Everett. The Flames were eliminated by the CFR Chemical Bisons in four games in the second round of the Alberta midget playoffs.
D Aaron Hladiuk (Round 6, 124th overall)
The 5-9, 130-pounder had five goals and two assists in 18 games with the NWCAA Bruins of the Alberta minor midget AAA league.
F Conrad Mitchell (Round 7, 134th overall)
The 6-3, 192-pounder had 17 goals and 18 assists in 35 games with the Leduc Oil Kings minor midget team.
F Ryan Robinson (Round 7, 146th overall)
The 6-foot, 161-pounder had 10 goals and 16 assists in 32 regular-season games and added three goals and two assists in four playoff games for the Dallas Stars U-16 team of the T1EHL.
F Alex Young (Round 8, 168th overall)
The 5-8, 128-pounder had three goals and an assist in seven games with the minor midget Red Deer Northstar Chiefs.
F Michael Horon (Round 9, 190th overall)
The 5-8, 148-pounder had 38 goals and 39 assists in 37 games for the minor midget Lethbridge Hurricanes.
G Danton Belluk (Round 10, 220th overall)
The 6-foot, 141-pound netminder had a 2.72 GAA and a .913 save percentage for the Eastman Selects of the Manitoba AAA midget league.
Now we’ll look at a pair of signed 2015 draftees who haven’t yet cracked the Everett roster.
D Gianni Fairbrother (Round 4, 80th overall)
North Vancouver, B.C.
The 5-10, 174-pounder has been up and down several times with Everett this season appearing in a total three games. He also has three goals and 17 assists in 36 games with the Vancouver NW Giants of the BCMML. The Giants take on the Okanagan Rockets in the BCMML quarterfinals beginning Friday. I expect him to be back with the Tips if/when the Giants are eliminated.
F Dawson Butt (Round 6, 118th overall)
The son of former WHLer Jamie Butt, Dawson scored 18 goals with 11 assists in 22 regular-season games and three goals and three assists in four playoff games with the Junior Silvertips 16U team. He appeared in two games for the Tips this season.
In addition two well-regarded American forwards – Ryan Savage of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Nick Castro of Redondo Beach, Calif. – have verbally committed to go the NCAA route. Savage has committed to Miami (Ohio) while Castro has committed to Denver.