It’s been a good weekend for the Silvertips. First Everett opened the season with a dominating 8-3 victory over Prince George on Saturday night. Then this morning the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers announced that they had reassigned forward Jujhar Khaira to Everett.
Khaira will be a big addition for Everett. In case you don’t know the story, Everett acquired Khaira’s rights from Prince George during the 2012 bantam draft, but Khaira chose to play in the NCAA last season for Michigan Tech University. However, Khaira gave up his NCAA eligibility to sign a professional contract with the Oilers in August. Throughout the process there was confusion whether Khaira, a 19-year-old from Surrey, B.C., who was selected in the third round of the 2012 NHL draft, was eligible to play in the AHL this season. But now we know he’ll spend the season in the WHL.
Khaira is a beast. He’s big (6-foot-3, 198 pounds), he’s strong, he plays physical, and he’s been productive offensively. He’ll be the perfect player for the forechecking style coach Kevin Constantine has installed, and I feel some sympathy for the Western Conference’s defensemen who will have to contend with Khaira bearing down on them at full speed.
The other Silvertips/NHL news from this morning is that defenseman Mirco Mueller has signed with the San Jose Sharks. Mueller, an 18-year-old from Switzerland who was selected 18th overall in this year’s NHL draft, signed the standard entry-level contract, which means it will be for three years.
Mueller may have signed, but he’ll still likely be returned to Everett this season, as there’s little chance he’ll crack San Jose’s roster. There was no word about how much longer he’ll remain with the Sharks. He has yet to play any preseason games, but since he signed I would think he’d get into at least one game. Once Mueller is returned to Everett the Tips will have to resolve their import situation, with Everett having to choose two between Mueller and rookie forwards Waltteri Hopponen and Ivan Nikolishin.
—- UPDATE , 12:20 p.m.
Well, the Sharks have reassigned Mueller back to Everett. So it’s decision time for the Tips with regards to their Euros. I believe Everett will have 48 hours once Mueller is back. Mueller is the only one of the three who can be traded. I’m not sure what happens if the Tips choose to release one of the forwards. Initially the rules stated that player would have to head back to Europe and would not be eligible to be claimed off waivers by anyone else in the WHL, but steps were being taken to try and change that.