Everett freed up a European roster slot by releasing Czech winger Stathis Soumelidis.
Soumelidis, who just completed his 18-year-old season, had four goals, seven assists and a team-leading 119 penalty minutes in his lone season with the Silvertips. The second-round selection in last year’s import draft was also a popular player in the locker room because of his good-spirited nature.
Soumelidis’ release leaves Everett with just one European player, Swiss defenseman Mirco Mueller.
Everett general manager Garry Davidson said Soumelidis wants to play in North America again next season, and that the Tips would do everything within their power to find him a new team. Soumelidis is eligible to be picked again in this year’s import draft, and if he’s not picked he essentially becomes a free agent available to all CHL teams.
By releasing Soumelidis, the Tips are now eligible to participate in this year’s import draft. Had both Mueller and Soumelidis remained on Everett’s protected list, the Tips would have been prohibited from drafting a new Euro. Now the Tips will be able to use their first-round pick, which is a high one at 10th overall (Mueller, who’s now projected as a first-round pick in this year’s NHL draft, was selected 11th overall last year). Everett general manager Garry Davidson said he hoped to acquire an impact forward to boost an offense that struggled to score goals.
As for the coaching front, Davidson said a hire isn’t imminent as he’s still conducting interviews.