Friday night brings Game One of top-seeded Everett’s first-round playoff series against the eighth-seeded Victoria Royals, but the news started much earlier in the day as the Silvertips announced they’ve signed forward Mark Liwiski to a WHL standard player agreement.
The Silvertips announce they've inked third-round pick Mark Liwiski: pic.twitter.com/afWcJzbZOq
— Jesse Geleynse (@JesseGeleynse) March 24, 2017
Liwiski was Everett’s second pick in the 2016 bantam draft, a third-round selection and 58th overall. He is a native of Dauphin, Manitoba, and a good friend of current Silvertips forward Connor Dewar.
“It’s a big honor for me and my family,” Liwiski said. “We just basically want to make this my next step here. I want to crack the roster next year and see how it is right now. Hopefully the boys make it far in the playoffs.”
Liwiski arrived in Everett Thursday night and skated with several Silvertips Friday morning. As an affiliate player he’s eligible to play if necessary.
“He plays a really good two-way game,” Everett general manager Garry Davidson said. “He led his team as a 15-year-old in scoring and he led them in penalty minutes. He’s got sandpaper to his game. There are a lot of similarities to what he brings to the table that Connor Dewar does. They’re from the same neck of the woods.”
Liwiski tallied 25 goals and 29 assists for 54 points in 39 regular-season games with the Parkland Rangers midget AAA team and added another goal and four assists in three playoff games. Liwiski also tallied 121 penalty minutes.
“I think I’m more of a WHL-caliber player (than college),” Liwiski said. “I’m more of a physical, tenacity guy. I like to bang bodies around and that’s kind of what the WHL is about.”
This marks the fourth player Everett has signed from its 2016 bantam draft. The Tips have also inked first-rounder and forward Ethan Browne (who is skating with the team as an affiliate player), fifth-round goaltender Dustin Wolf and seventh-round forward Conrad Mitchell.
Thus far sixth-round forward Dylan Holloway (University of Wisconsin) is the only player who has announced his intention to attend college, so there could be more signings in the coming months.
It could make for some intense competition for roster spots when training camp begins next August.
“(Liwiski) is one of those guys who I think he’s going to show up and be there as a constant competitive guy,” Davidson said. “It’s going to be an interesting competitive training camp, but I wouldn’t bet against him because I think he wants it bad and I think he’s going to be a big part of our future going forward.”
In other prospect news, Mitchell has been called up to the Leduc Oil Kings major midget AAA team as the Oil Kings are one win away from their first-ever Alberta Midget Hockey League title. The team has a chance to sweep the best-of-five series from the Foothills Bison tonight. The Oil Kings upset Browne’s Sherwood Park Kings 3-0 in the previous round.
Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Wild midget AAA team that includes Everett’s fourth-round forward Reece Vitelli won the Manitoba Midget Hockey League championship to advance to the TELUS Cup West Regional Tournament beginning March 30.
Ryan Robinson, one of Everett’s seventh-round picks out of Plano, Texas, has been invited to the U.S. National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp beginning Friday in Plymouth, Michigan.
For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.