In a light week for the Everett Silvertips, the moves off the ice were just as noteworthy as those on it.
Everett had a small shuffling of the pack among its forward ranks, as the Tips traded 18-year-old Roan Woodward to the Edmonton Oil Kings, then acquired 19-year-old Hayden Smith from the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Woodward, a 5-foot-10, 177-pound native of Nipawin, Saskatchewan, was in his third season with Everett after being selected in the fourth round of the 2020 WHL prospects draft. In 113 career games with the Tips Woodward had seven goals and 16 assists, including two assists in six games this season prior to the trade. Everett acquired a fifth-round pick in the 2026 prospects draft in return.
Everett general manager/head coach Dennis Williams said Woodward requested the trade.
”It was for family reasons,” Williams said. “It was good that we were able to find him a place where he’s closer to home at a time he needs. We’ll miss him being a part of the Everett Silvertips, he was a great player and teammate and was a pleasure to coach. We wish him nothing but success.”
Two days later, the Tips filled that vacant spot by acquiring Smith for an eighth rounder in 2027. The 6-foot, 195-pounder from Chetwynd, B.C., is in his fourth season after being selected in the second round of the 2019 prospects draft by the Saskatoon Blades. In 143 career games Smith has 16 goals and 12 assists, including one assist in two games with the Hurricanes this season.
“He skates well and has good size,” Williams said. “Sometimes players just need a different opportunity or different voice, it’s something you see all the time. Hayden is a player who scored 14 goals last year, which is not an easy thing to do in this league. We’ll give him an opportunity here and see how he does.”
With one out and one in, Everett stayed at 15 forwards on its current roster, which is perhaps one more than WHL teams typically carry. However, Williams said Matthew Paskiewicz, who’s listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury, will be out “for some time,” helping explain the need to fill Woodward’s spot.
As for on the ice, Everett played just once last week as the Tips traveled to Victoria on Friday and whipped the Royals 8-1. It was a welcome change after Everett scored just two goals total in its previous two games.
“It was definitely nice to see, more for the guys,” Williams said about the offensive breakout. “We hadn’t been playing bad hockey, we just weren’t finding the back of the net. A game like that definitely lifts a lot of spirits, and we were able to roll our lines and defensive pairings to give guys down the lineup more minutes.”
Everett is now 4-3-0-0 and tied with Spokane and Tri-City for second place in the U.S. Division, four points behind Portland.
Three stars of the week
Third star: Jesse Heslop. The 17-year-old forward, who’s coming off a promising rookie campaign, posted a goal and an assist against the Royals, scoring on a nice one-timer on the power play and making a nice feed to set up Cade Zaplitny off the rush.
Second star: Dominik Rymon. The 19-year-old forward, who missed much of last season because of injury, was being counted on to produce offensively this season, and he continued to do that against Victoria with a goal and two assists. He leads the Tips in scoring with nine points (five goals, four assists) in seven games.
First star: Ben Hemmerling. The 19-year-old forward is expected to be one of Everett’s primary offensive drivers this season, primarily by setting up teammates for goals. But against Victoria he was the one who found the net, scoring a trio of goals for his first career WHL hat trick. It was Hemmerling’s first big output of the season.
The week ahead
After a calm first four weeks of the season, Everett’s schedule revs up this week with the first of a whopping nine three-in three weekends this season.
It opens with a home game against the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday, the first East Division team to visit Everett this season. Brandon (5-4-1-0) features a pair of high NHL draft picks in 19-year-old forward Nate Danielson (33 goals, 45 assists last season) and 18-year-old goaltender Carson Bjarnason (3-2-0-0, 2.77 goals against average, .921 save percentage).
The Tips then host the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday. Portland (6-1-0-0) has built an early lead in the U.S. Division. The Winterhawks are paced by 20-year-old forwards James Stefan (seven goals, seven assists) and Gabe Klassen (three goals, nine assists).
The weekend wraps up with a visit to Kennewick to play the Tri-City Americans. Tri-City (4-3-0 -0) was recently boosted by the return of hulking 20-year-old forward Parker Bell (25 goals, 39 assists last season) from the professional ranks.