The Everett Silvertips announced Monday they have acquired 1998-born right-handed defenseman Sahvan Khaira from the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for center Ethan O’Rourke and a third-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft.
Khaira is the younger brother of former Silvertips and current Edmonton Oilers center Jujhar Khaira who played with Everett during the 2013-14 season following a one-year college career at Michigan Tech. Sahvan Khaira is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound blueliner reminiscent of former Everett defenseman Ondrej Vala, who has moved on to the pro ranks.
“(He is) a veteran, big, strong, physical defenseman who almost replaces Vala who had that role,” Everett general manager Garry Davidson said. “(Juhjar) played for us, so he and his family are very familiar with the organization.”
Khaira, a native of Surrey, B.C., scored six goals with 20 assists in 65 games as an alternate captain with the Broncos this season. He added two goals and five assists in 26 WHL playoff games as Swift Current defeated the Silvertips in six games to win the WHL championship. Khaira also had an assist in two games at the Memorial Cup.
“We got to see him in the playoffs and we followed the Memorial Cup,” Davidson said. “It’s going to be a real positive for us.”
Khaira began his career with the Seattle Thunderbirds and was traded to Swift Current prior to the 2016 trade deadline. He has nine goals and 48 assists in 245 regular-season WHL games, and two goals and seven assists in 40 WHL playoff games.
In O’Rourke the Tips give up a 6-foot-5, 210-pound center who tallied one goal and three assists in 29 games with the Tips. He also scored a goal in 18 playoff games. O’Rourke was acquired from Prince George on New Year’s Day in exchange for Ethan Browne, Everett’s first-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. O’Rourke was a third-round pick by Prince George in the 2014 bantam draft.
Sean Richards is the only other 1998-born player currently on Everett’s roster, meaning the Tips have room to add another overage player. Davidson said the organization would like to add an overage forward, but added that the organization is “not in a rush” to fill the spot and does not anticipate adding another 1998-born player prior to training camp.
While eligible for the professional ranks, the possibility remains that some signed 20-year-olds could be reassigned back to the junior ranks following NHL training camps in September. That would enlarge the pool of potential overage candidates to join the Tips.
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