The Silvertips’ Jake Christiansen (center) takes a shot and scores during the annual Green and Grey scrimmage Aug. 25, 2019, in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The Silvertips’ Jake Christiansen (center) takes a shot and scores during the annual Green and Grey scrimmage Aug. 25, 2019, in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Christiansen’s return presents tough decision for Silvertips

Christiansen was released from his professional tryout and puts Everett over the limit of overagers.

A situation that has been in limbo for months for the Everett Silvertips was sorted out Thursday when the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat announced that 20-year-old defenseman Jake Christiansen has been released from his professional tryout and re-assigned to Everett.

Finally, some clarity.

But some tough decisions are now ahead for the Silvertips and general manager Garry Davidson.

Christiansen’s return leaves the Silvertips with four overagers, one more than allowed by Western Hockey League rules. The Silvertips have 14 days to trade or release Max Patterson (center), Bryce Kindopp (right wing), Wyatte Wylie (defenseman) or Christiansen. Until then, Everett can dress just three of the four for any given game, Davidson said.

Early December isn’t the optimal time to try to recoup value for an overager. The other 21 teams in the WHL have their three overagers already sorted out — and have had for a while — but there are always teams looking to try to upgrade certain spots.

Kelowna, who is hosting the 2020 Memorial Cup and receives an automatic bid to the four-team tournament, will be a team to look out for. Andy Eide, who covers the Thunderbirds of 710 ESPN, spotted Kelowna general manager Bruce Hamilton in Everett for the Silvertips-Thunderbirds clash.

Christiansen played in nine games with the Stockton Heat and did not record a point. The left-shot defenseman was a healthy scratch for 12 games while he was on his professional tryout.

The West Vancouver, British Columbia, native is a proven point-producer in the WHL. He’s coming off a 12-goal, 44-point season as a 19-year-old. Christiansen was expected to meet the team in Medicine Hat, Alberta, on Thursday night and be available for the Silvertips’ game Friday at Swift Current.

Kindopp, who was named the team’s captain in the preseason, leads the Silvertips with 15 goals and 28 points.

Wylie, a Snohomish County native, is fourth on the team and first among defensemen with seven goals and 23 points. Along with being a hometown kid, Wylie has quarterbacked Everett’s top power-play unit and is a significant reason why the Silvertips have scored 24.3% of the time on the man advantage, the fourth-best percentage in the league.

Patterson isn’t a top point-producer, but he provides physicality with his 6-foot-6, 229-pound frame and, perhaps more importantly, plays center, a position where Everett is thin.

Gut invited to Czech camp

Silvertips import center Michal Gut was one of 39 players invited Thursday to the Czech Republic’s world junior selection camp. Gut will report for camp Dec. 10.

Gut, 17, played for the Czech Republic’s under-18 team at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup in August, scoring three goals and posting four points in four games.

Making the final 20-player roster will be a tall task for Gut, who is two years younger than the majority of the talent pool — players who compete at world juniors typically are 19-year-olds. If Gut sticks with the team through the 2020 tournament, which the Czech Republic is hosting, he could be gone until the first week of January.

Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter, @JoshHortonEDH

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