EVERETT — The WHL’s annual trade deadline came and went Wednesday with a flurry of activity and a bevy of big names heading to new locations.
“There were a lot of really good players who changed hands,” Everett general manager Garry Davidson said. “Lots of buyers, I guess.”
Meanwhile, the Everett Silvertips, who made their big deal on Sunday when they acquired center Garrett Pilon and defenseman Ondrej Vala from the Kamloops Blazers, completed several smaller deals prior to the deadline at 2 p.m. PST.
Everett’s first deal came Wednesday morning when the organization announced it had acquired 1999-born defenseman Jameson Murray from the Calgary Hitmen for a conditional 2019 sixth-round pick.
The condition was that Davidson had a 2019 sixth-round pick — which he acquired later in the morning from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for the rights to Lethbridge native Michael Horon. The Tips selected Horon in the ninth round of the 2016 bantam draft.
Everett then acquired forward Bronson Sharp from the Portland Winterhawks for a fifth-round pick in 2020, and reacquired Spencer Gerth from the Victoria Royals for a seventh-round pick in 2019.
Wednesday’s moves were set up to complement Sunday’s blockbuster acquisition in which the Tips received two signed NHL prospects in Pilon and Vala.
“I felt we needed to get two good pieces and we addressed that with a top-end defenseman and a top-end center,” Davidson said. “The next thing was just to add some depth to the back and the front, and that’s what we have done here.”
Murray, a 6-foot-3, 184-pound native of Kelowna, British Columbia, had a goal and five assists in 28 games this season. He had a goal and two assists in 35 games as a rookie last year.
Sharp, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound native of Mission, British Columbia, is a 1999-born winger who tallied two goals and an assist in 38 games for the Winterhawks this season.
Gerth is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward from Langley, British Columbia. Originally signed as a listed player by the Silvertips, Gerth had two goals and an assist in 66 games over two seasons before he was dealt to the Victoria Royals last season. With Victoria, he had an assist in 47 games last year and three goals and three assists in 43 games this year.
“(He) was here before and loved by everybody,” Davidson said. “He was pumped to come back and all our guys are pumped he’s back.”
Davidson remained in play throughout the day for some of the higher-end players moved, but wasn’t willing to give up any more significant pieces from the current roster, he said.
The Vala-Pilon acquisistion cost Everett forward Orrin Centazzo, defenseman Montana Onyebuchi, forward prospects Nathanael Hinds and Kalen Ukrainetz, and two draft picks.
“(It was) possible to do more, but what you would have done is you would have started eating into our group more,” Davidson said. “Two young guys was enough and I wasn’t going any further than that.”
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