WHL notebook: Tough season for former Silvertip

It’s been a rough stretch for former Everett Silvertips defenseman Alex Theriau, and last week it got even rougher.

Theriau went from the injury list to the waiver wire in a matter of days as he was released by the Medicine Hat Tigers, a victim of the overager limit.

The 20-year-old Theriau began the season on the long-term injury list because of a hip ailment that required offseason surgery. He had just gotten himself back to playing shape when he was cut loose by the Tigers.

“I had no chance to prove myself,” Theriau told the Medicine Hat News. “I had figured I’d earned the respect of the coaching staff, to at least be given an opportunity. To at least get in for a game.”

Theriau spent parts of three seasons with Everett. The former first-round bantam pick was a key component in the trade that sent winger Kyle Beach to Lethbridge in January of 2009. While with the Tips Theriau was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 NHL draft by the Dallas Stars. He was then traded to Medicine Hat in January of 2011 in the deal that brought winger Ryan Harrison to Everett.

Last season Theriau had three goals and 14 assists in 70 games with the Tigers, and he was considered a strong candidate to come back as an overager this season. However, he began the season on the sidelines, and in the interim Medicine Hat played musical chairs with its overagers, sending winger Kale Kessy to Vancouver and bringing in center Elgin Pearce from Kootenay, defenseman Derek Ryckman from Tri-City and goaltender Cam Lanigan from Portland. When the merry-go-round stopped, there was no room for Theriau.

“The decision wasn’t really down to one person versus another person,” Medicine Hat general manager and coach Shaun Clouston told the News. “It was a situation where we can continue with the roster that we’ve had for the last eight games that’s really rounded a corner and worked hard together and persevered and come out the other side, or we could make change to that roster. It’s been a big turnaround and to me it’s a vote of confidence for the guys that are in the dressing room to remain status quo.”

Theriau has hooked on with the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Around the WHL

Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray was named Team WHL’s captain for the Canada-Russia Super Series game being played Wednesday in Vancouver. Swift Current’s Adam Lowry was named captain for Thursday’s game in Victoria. … Former Silvertips goaltender Cole Holowenko has hooked on with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The 19-year-old Holowenko was released by Everett earlier this season and passed through WHL waivers without being claimed. … Lethbridge lost a veteran defenseman when 19-year-old Spencer Galbraith decided to end his WHL career. Galbraith, who was acquired from Brandon last season, had two goals and five assists in 20 games with Lethbridge this season. … Prince Albert’s Mark McNeill was named the WHL Player of the Week. The 19-year-old forward had two goals and five assists as the Raiders went 2-1.

League leaders

Points — JC Lipon (Kamloops) 43; goals — Lipon, Josh Nicholls (Saskatoon) 17; assists — Colin Smith (Kamloops) 27; penalty minutes — Ryley Miller (Brandon) 67; wins — Cole Cheveldave (Kamloops), Luke Siemens (Prince Albert), Eric Comrie (Tri-City), Ty Rimmer (Lethbridge) 12; goals against average — Mac Carruth (Portland) 0.97; save percentage — Carruth .963.

Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.

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