That’s the number of total players on the Everett Silvertips’ 2019 training camp roster, enough to make up six teams, the most since general manager Garry Davidson took over in 2012.
For comparison, the arch-divisional-rival Seattle Thunderbirds brought 78 players to camp. The Tri-City American had a 65-player training camp and the Spokane Chiefs had 67 players attend their camp.
Why the sheer volume of players? A bit of it is coincidence, but for Davidson, it’s a testament to what’s been built in Everett.
“I think it’s a good process our scouts went through this year,” Davidson said. “They all worked hard, they made a lot of personal contacts with players and their families and so many players subsequently decided to go here instead of somewhere else.”
Western Hockey League teams carry 50 players on their protected lists, and those players are almost always at training camp. But there are non-listed players that are invited that pay their own way to training camp. This year, the Silvertips invited a similar amount of players compared to years past, but received more positive responses than usual.
“I think the word is out there that our camps are well-run and people that have come to them have enjoyed the experience,” Davidson said.
Other than long days at the rink for the scouting and coaching staff, there are no disadvantages to having a large camp roster. For Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams, the biggest asset is spreading the word about the organization.
“I think it allows us as an organization to tell our story and let people know what the Everett Silvertips are about,” Williams said. “I do think it’s an information weekend for the Western Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League and a lot of parents and families get their questions answered about why the Western Hockey League and why Everett. As I encouraged all the parents, don’t leave here without your questions answered.”
Everett always fills out its training camp roster with local players, and five players from the Junior Silvertips program were in attendance for Thursday’s training camp — 2002-born defenseman Nick Gusnicki, 2003-born forward Jack Lambert, 2002-born goalie Carson Van Winkle, 2004-born defenseman Mykah Carter and 2003-born defenseman Miles Berg.
“That’s something we’ll always do,” Davidson said, “because we want to give the local kids an opportunity to show us what they can do.”
Michal Gut, the Silvertips’ first-round pick in the 2019 CHL import draft, wasn’t at training camp due to travel complications. He will be in transit to Everett on Friday and should skate with Team Red on Saturday, according to Davidson.
Fasko-Rudas out for preseason
Everett’s other import player, Martin Fasko-Rudas, will miss the preseason after undergoing offseason surgery, per Davidson. The Slovakian forward registered 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists) in 60 games last season and is expected to hold down a top-six forward role for the Silvertips this season.
— All 12 players selected in the 2019 bantam draft by Everett reported to training camp.
— Two players recorded hat tricks during scrimmages on Day 1: 2002-born defenseman Ronan Seeley for Team Red and 2002-born forward Jacob Wright for Team Green.
— The Colorado Avalanche released their rookie camp roster on Thursday, and Silvertips forward Bryce Kindopp and former defenseman Kevin Davis were listed. Kindopp skated with the Avalanche at their development camp in June and Davis played in Colorado’s minor-league system last year.
— Incoming overage defenseman Jake Christiansen will participate in the St. Louis Blues’ training camp, according to Davidson.