By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips acquired the rights to an overage goaltender Monday. But Monday’s trade was less about what the Tips were getting and more about what they were giving up.
Everett picked up the rights to 20-year-old goaltender Brandon Anderson from the Brandon Wheat Kings along with a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft in exchange for the rights to 17-year-old prospect winger Geordie Maguire.
Anderson, who’s signed a contract with the NHL’s Washington Capitals, is eligible to play professionally in the minor leagues this season. If Anderson plays pro, the Tips receive the fifth rounder. If Anderson plays for Everett, the pick returns to the Wheat Kings.
But while the trade potentially adds to Everett’s goaltending depth, Tips general manager Garry Davidson said the trade was primarily about Maguire. Maguire, a Winnipeg, Manitoba, native who was Everett’s fifth-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft, was the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League’s scoring champion last season with 77 points (40 goals, 37 assists) in 42 games. However, Davidson did not think Maguire would play for Everett.
“I wasn’t confident Maguire would ever report and play for us,” Davidson said. “He had a terrific year in midget and I think he has the capability to be a WHL player. But he hasn’t signed, he’s not committed to the league, and education is a real priority for his family. So we figured we’d see what we could get from moving him, and maybe being closer to home will have an effect.”
Anderson, who hails from Langley, B.C., signed with the Capitals following a successful tryout in 2010 after he was passed over in the NHL draft. He spent the past three-plus seasons in the WHL between Lethbridge and Brandon. However, he struggled last season, going 15-17-1-2 with a 3.92 goals against average and .890 save percentage between the two teams. By the end of the season he’d lost the No. 1 job in Brandon to the younger Corbin Boes.
Everett’s goaltending situation is in flux. Kent Simpson, who held down the No. 1 spot the past two-plus seasons, signed with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and is expected to play professionally next season as a 20-year-old. Austin Lotz, who showed great promise as Simpson’s back-up last season as a 16-year-old, stands to inherit the position.
“Anderson is a signed pro and we may never see him,” Davidson admitted. “In my mind the deal is Maguire for a fifth, and if Anderson is sent back it changes the deal. What it does is gives us some potential depth in our goaltending situation if he does come back, because we’ve got some young and inexperienced goalies.
“I think our young goalies are very capable,” Davidson added. “Lotz is back and he’s a very good goalie, and we’ve got (18-year-old Andy) Desautels coming in. But they’re young yet, and goaltenders tend to mature a little later.”
Anderson becomes another potential candidate for Everett’s three overage roster spots next season, along with forwards Ryan Harrison, Cody Fowlie and JT Barnett, as well as the slim chance Simpson is returned.
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.