The Everett Silvertips didn’t practice today before getting on the bus at about 1 to leave for Kamloops, where they will take on the Blazers Wednesday night. The trip continues Friday and Saturday at Edmonton and Red Deer.
It will be a bit of a homecoming for several Silvertips who are native to Alberta, including Carter Hart, Cole MacDonald, Brycen Martin, Brandon Ralph, Matt Fonteyne and Riley Sutter.
I caught up with Hart for a few thoughts about playing in front of his family:
Turns out me interviewing Hart on camera was not the most interesting thing to happen to him Tuesday. We’ll have more on this in Wednesday’s paper, but Hart was named the top North American goalie prospect in the 2016 NHL draft by NHL Central Scouting Tuesday.
That is the highest any Silvertips goaltender has been ranked on the list (Leland Irving was ranked No. 2 in the final 2006 list before he was selected in the first round by Calgary that year). It’s worth noting that this isn’t the final list, but it is certainly a remarkable accomplishment for what so far has been a remarkable season for the soft-spoken wunderkind. Forward Patrick Bajkov also made the list as the No. 71-ranked skater in North America.
How good is Hart? Well at least one Hockey Now contributor thinks he’s pretty good:
— Marshall Mackinder (@Mackinder1861) January 19, 2016
Then there is TSN analyst Craig Button:
@TMLbird Carter Hart IMO.
— Craig Button (@CraigJButton) January 20, 2016
In the meantime here are a couple of pieces I found today while perusing Twitter for Hart tidbits, including a piece on the eye training he does, and a piece in The Hockey News that looks at the goaltending class as a whole. He also earns mention here.
One player who won’t be making the trip is defenseman/forward Mackenzie Dwyer, who injured his knee during Monday’s game. Dwyer said he’s scheduled for an MRI Wednesday and was still in a knee brace at the arena before the team left for Kamloops.
Dwyer played forward in each of the last few games. It sounds like the Tips were trying to get him more playing time with nine D-men currently on the roster and Everett only dressing six.
Elsewhere both Moose Jaw goaltender Zach Sawchenko and Prince Albert forward Reid Gardiner added CHL honors Tuesday to the WHL honors they earned Monday. The Tips also get mention from colleague Andy Eide who writes for Sportsnet and mynorthwest.com.