EVERETT – The Everett Silvertips received their first piece of good news from NHL training camps when right wing Dan Gendur was reassigned by the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
Gendur was one of the players the Tips were in danger of losing because, as a 20-year-old, he’s eligible to play professionally in the minor leagues.
However, the Canucks, who selected Gendur in the seventh round of this year’s NHL draft, decided Gendur needed another another year of seasoning in juniors. As a result, Everett will in all likelihood have his services again this season.
“We always root for the boys,” Everett general manager Doug Soetaert said. “But obviously it’s a big step. I talked to the Canucks organization and they said he got better every day, I know they’re happy with him. But it’s a marathon, not a sprint, with these boys.
“We’re happy to have him back,” Soetaert added. “Back here he can continue to be a go-to guy and a finisher like he was last year.”
Gendur was one of 10 players the Canucks either reassigned or released following rookie training camp. Defenseman Taylor Ellington, who also attended rookie camp with the Canucks, advanced to Vancouver’s main training camp. However, Ellington is in his 19-year-old season, meaning he’s ineligible to play minor pro hockey this season. Therefore, he’s expected to be returned to Everett.
Gendur was one of Everett’s best offensive players after arriving via trade with Prince George last November. In 48 regular season games he recorded 20 goals and 22 assists.
Now that he’s back, Gendur is a virtual lock to fill one of Everett’s three overage spots. He joins left wing Brennan Sonne, right wing Brandon Campos and goaltender David Reekie as overagers currently in Everett. Left wing Ondrej Fiala and defenseman Dane Crowley are still with their NHL teams, but would be candidates for overage spots should they be returned to juniors.
Everett made a personnel move of its own Monday, reassigning forward Cameron Abney.
Abney was never selected in the bantam draft and was one of many free agents the Tips invited to rookie training camp. However, the towering forward impressed during his time with the team and was the last 16-year-old forward on the roster. His performance was enough to earn a spot on Everett’s 50-player protected list.
With Abney reassigned, Everett has 31 players remaining on the roster. Of those 31, seven are away at NHL camps.
Those who were with the team this weekend had their ups and downs at the Tri-City Preseason Tournament, losing 7-6 in overtime to Portland on Saturday before rebounding to best Tri-City 4-0 Sunday in an ill-tempered affair.
“I think it was a positive step,” Everett coach John Becanic said. “Even in the Portland game we played hard, we just made mistakes on defense. The good thing was our young defensemen, after a little teaching, were able to set out and do what they were taught.
“The other thing was we managed to score some goals,” Becanic added. “We have a lot of offense to replace in guys like Peter Mueller and Moises Gutierrez, and some of the returning players are starting to produce.”