The Everett Silvertips’ Olen Zellweger maneuvers around a Vancouver Giants defender during a strong first period for the Silvertips in the first round of the WHL playoffs Friday, April 22, 2022, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Ducks send star defenseman Zellweger back to Silvertips

The 19-year-old standout and reigning WHL Defenseman of the Year should provide Everett with a huge boost.

EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips are getting their star player back for the 2022-23 season, and they’re getting him back much earlier than expected.

Olen Zellweger, the reigning WHL Defenseman of the Year, is on his way back to Everett after being reassigned by the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Zellweger, a 19-year-old from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, is coming off a season in which he registered 14 goals and 64 assists in 55 games for Everett en route to winning the Bill Hunter Trophy as the league’s top blueliner. He then went on to star for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in August, posting two goals and nine assists in seven games as Canada claimed the gold medal.

Zellweger was selected in the second round of the 2021 NHL draft by Anaheim, and he was considered a legitimate contender to make the rebuilding Ducks for the upcoming season — because he was drafted out of the WHL he’s only eligible to play his 19-year-old season in either the NHL or WHL, not in the minors.

Zellweger seemed to reinforce his NHL credentials during his two preseason appearances with the Ducks. He averaged more than 21 minutes of ice time, saw extensive time on both the power play and penalty kill, and produced a highlight-reel assist on what proved to be Ryan Strome’s game-winning goal in Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.

It was believed Zellweger would at least get into some regular season games with Anaheim before being sent back to Everett, as players are allowed to appear in up to nine games before the first year of their entry-level contracts kick in. However, the offseason acquisitions of defensemen John Klingberg and Dmitry Kulikov appear designed to give Zellweger, who’s on the small side at 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, another year of physical development at the junior level.

Getting Zellweger back is a boon for Everett. The Tips lost a big chunk of the team that won the U.S. Division championship last season. But now the Tips have both of their co-MVPs back in Zellweger and leading goals scorer Jackson Berezowski, meaning Everett is better equipped to compete in what’s expected to be a strong division.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Arlington junior guard Leyton Martin drives on Marysville Getchell’s Bubba Palocol during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Martin scores 43, Arlington boys outlast Getchell in OT thriller

The Eagles earn their second straight trip to the Tacoma Dome with a 76-72 win.

Everett senior Mae Washington pulls up and shoots a jumper against Seattle Prep during a playoff matchup at Shorewood High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett girls oust Seattle Prep for return trip to the Tacoma Dome

Alana Washington’s 33 points leads the Seagulls to a 64-60 victory.

Tulalip Heritage freshman Amare’ Hatch tries to force his way to the rim against Columbia Adventist Academy during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Tulalip Heritage boys bounced by Columbia Adventist

The Hawks’ late push falls short in a 70-63 loss during the Class 1B state regionals.

X
State basketball roundup for Saturday, Feb. 24

State basketball prep roundup for Saturday, Feb. 24: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To… Continue reading

Jackson’s Ryan Mcferran (0) shoots the ball during a boys game between Jackson and Puyallup at Shorewood High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Shoreline, WA. Jackson won, 55-48. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Jackson boys overcome adversity again, reach round of 12

The Timberwolves survive foul trouble to defeat Puyallup 55-48 in a Class 4A loser-out game.

Lake Stevens’ Tessa Anastasi heads to the basket against Skyview during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens girls book their spot at the Tacoma Dome

The Vikings knock off Skyview 47-33 to advance to the Class 4A round of 12.

Davis’ Blake Garza (2) dunks the ball during a boys game between Glacier Peak and Davis at Shorewood High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Shoreline, WA. Glacier Peak fell, 65-54.. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Glacier Peak boys outmuscled by Davis in 65-54 loss

The Grizzlies lose the battle of the boards as they’re knocked into the Class 4A round of 12.

X
Mountlake Terrace boys drop heartbreaker to O’Dea

A last-second bucket results in a 59-57 defeat as the Hawks drop into the 3A state round of 12.

Snohomish junior Tyler Gildersleeve-Stiles shoots a free-throw in a close game against Garfield during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish girls’ rally falls short against Garfield

Katie Fiso and the Bulldogs send the Panthers to the round of 12 with a 46-40 loss.

Toby Trichler, right, yells during a team cheer before the start of the game on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 in Shoreline, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Sultan boys overcome hurdles to break 15-year state drought

A flooded gym and rotating lineup haven’t stopped the Turks from reaching their goal.

X
State basketball roundup for Friday, Feb. 23

State basketball roundup for Friday, Feb. 23: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (89) stiff arms Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) while carrying the ball against the Detroit Lions during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Why the Seahawks could part with ex-Husky Will Dissly this offseason

The UW product is the only tight end under contract for 2024, but the team could save nearly $7 million in salary cap space if he’s released.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.