The Everett Silvertips begin preparations for the 2023-24 season this week, with the first on-ice sessions of training camp taking place Thursday. Twenty seasons are now in the books for the Tips, so it seemed an appropriate time to update my column from five years ago and come up with the top 20 Silvertips for the franchise’s first 20 years.
How does one go about evaluating a Silvertips player? Is it only about what a player accomplished during his time with the Tips, or should accomplishments following his Everett career be taken into account? Should greater weight be given to what a player achieved at his peak, or to what he was able to do over the course of his entire career?
Me? I’m trying to take all of it into account. It’s a big mishmash with no secret formula, so please feel free to argue with my selections.
Without further ado:
20) Mitch Love
Years in Everett: 2003-05. Stats: 129 games, 56 points (21 goals, 35 assists).
Five years ago Love received a big bump because of his cult status as the franchise’s first fan favorite. This time around, with more time having passed, I chose to weigh that factor less. However, he was still an effective defenseman during the team’s first two seasons, was as tough a customer as they come, and went on to a six-year professional career in the minors.
19) Wyatte Wylie
Years in Everett: 2016-20. Stats: 272 games, 152 points (31 goals, 121 assists).
Wylie is the case of the hometown boy making good. The defenseman was the first — and remains the only — Snohomish County product to play for the Tips, and he was far more than a token as he was a key contributor to some of Everett’s best teams. He was a fifth round NHL draft selection, and played the past three seasons in the AHL.
18) Jake Christiansen
Years in Everett: 2015-20. Stats: 297 games, 152 points (50 goals, 102 assists).
Wylie’s doppelganger, the two were teammates on Everett’s blue line for four seasons and produced eerily similar numbers. Christiansen gets the edge because his overage season in 2019-20 he was essentially a fourth forward on the ice (22 goals in 38 games), and although he wasn’t selected in the NHL draft he played in 32 NHL games over the past two seasons.
17) Shaun Heshka
Years in Everett: 2003-06. Stats: 204 games, 107 points (25 goals, 82 assists).
Heshka was Everett’s first defenseman to make a significant impact on the scoresheet, posting 59 points in 66 games as an overager in 2005-06, when he became Everett’s first ever first-team Western Conference All-Star. Heshka also has been one of the Tips’ longest-serving pros, as he’s about to embark on his 17th season — much of that has been in Europe, but it also includes eight NHL games.
16) Patrick Bajkov
Years in Everett: 2013-18. Stats: 342 games, 288 points (112 goals, 176 assists).
The skilled winger is Everett’s all-time leading scorer, and he remains the only player to achieve the 100-point milestone when he hit the number on the nose as an overager in 2017-18, earning second-team Western Conference All-Star honors and helping lead the Tips to the Western Conference championship. Bajkov has played professionally in the minors and in Europe the past five seasons.
15) Joshua Winquist
Years in Everett: 2009-14. Stats: 301 games, 216 points (101 goals, 115 assists)
The goal-scoring winger was a model of development as he took a step forward in each of his five seasons with the Tips, breaking the single-season franchise record for goals with 47 as an overager in 2013-14. He was a two-time team MVP, as well as a second-team Western Conference All-Star in 2013-14, and he’s now a nine-year veteran of the minors.
14) Shane Harper
Years in Everett: 2005-10. Stats: 335 games, 214 points (100 goals, 114 assists).
It’s no coincidence that Bajkov, Winquist and Harper are listed consecutively, as all three were skilled offensive players who spent five seasons with the Tips and progressed from talented fourth-line rookie to offensive star. Harper, like Winquist, was the team’s co-MVP at 19 and sole MVP at 20, and he was The Herald’s Man of the Year in Sports for 2010. He has a 13-year professional career that includes 14 games in the NHL.
13) Ronan Seeley
Years in Everett: 2018-22. Stats: 190 games, 102 points (20 goals, 82 assists)
Seeley was a key cog in some of the best defensive groups in franchise history. He was a seventh round NHL draft selection, was the U.S. Division Defenseman of the Year during the coronavirus pandemic’s developmental season in 2021, was a second-team U.S. Division All-Star in 2021-22, and won a gold medal with Canada at the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championships.
12) Ivan Baranka
Years in Everett: 2003-05. Stats: 122 games, 38 points (10 goals, 28 assists).
The Tips’ first great shutdown defenseman is still one of the best in franchise history, and he was an underrated element of Everett’s storybook run to the WHL finals as an expansion team in 2003-04. Though Baranka played just one game in the NHL, he had a successful 12-year career in Europe, and he appeared in three Olympics for Slovakia.
11) Leland Irving
Years in Everett: 2004-08. Stats: 107-62-3-8, 2.05 goals against average, .925 save percentage.
Everett has had stellar goaltending for most of its 20-year history, and Irving was the Tips’ first goaltending superstar. He was a first-round NHL draft pick, a two-time second-team Western Conference All-Star, and won a gold medal with Canada at the 2007 World Junior Hockey Championships. His 14-year professional career took him around the world and included 13 games in the NHL.
10) Noah Juulsen
Years in Everett: 2013-17. Stats: 240 games, 124 points (30 goals, 94 assists).
The hard-shooting, hard-hitting defenseman was a central figure in Everett’s return to prominence in the mid 2010s. He was a first-round NHL draft pick, was a second-team Western Conference All-Star in 2015-16 and a first teamer in 2016-17, earned silver with Canada at the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championships, and has appeared in NHL games in five of the past six seasons.
9) Jackson Berezowski
Years in Everett: 2018-23. Stats: 273 games, 232 points (130 goals, 102 assists).
Berezowski is the greatest goal poacher in franchise history, as he holds the franchise records for both career goals and goals in a season (48 in 2022-23), and despite being undersized almost all his goals came from in tight. He was the U.S. Division Player of the Year last season, and he was a first-team U.S. Division All-Star the season before that. The two-time captain is also one of the greatest leaders in franchise history.
8) Zach Hamill
Years in Everett: 2003-08. Stats: 250 games, 262 points (87 goals, 175 assists).
Everett’s first ever prospects draft selection, Hamill went on to set the franchise career scoring record that held for a decade until broken by Bajkov. Hamill remains the only Everett player to win the WHL scoring title, which he did in 2006-07. He was selected eighth overall in the NHL draft, was a first-team Western Conference All-Star in 2006-07, and had a long career in the pros that included 20 NHL games.
7) Connor Dewar
Years in Everett: 2015-19. Stats: 270 games, 197 points (99 goals, 98 assists).
Aptly nicknamed “Pitbull” for his tenacious play in all zones, Dewar was a late bloomer as he was a third-round NHL draft pick after being passed over in his first year of eligibility, and he was a first-team Western Conference All-Star in 2018-19. Dewar has since established himself as an NHL regular, playing in 81 of the Minnesota Wild’s 82 games last season as a bottom-six forward.
6) Peter Mueller
Years in Everett: 2005-07. Stats: 103 games, 136 points (47 goals, 89 assists).
Mueller remains the most gifted offensive player in franchise history. He was the WHL Rookie of the Year in 2006, was taken eighth overall in the NHL draft, and was a first-team Western Conference All-Star in 2006-07. Though his NHL career was shortened because of concussions, his 160 NHL points (in 297 games) are the most by a former Everett forward, and he continues to play professionally in Europe.
5) Radko Gudas
Years in Everett: 2009-10. Stats: 65 games, 37 points (seven goals, 30 assists).
Gudas only played one season in Everett, but his impact on the blue line cannot be overstated. Gudas is easily the hardest hitter in franchise history, a trait that earned him second-team Western Conference All-Star status in 2009-10. He’s taken that ability to the highest level, as his 682 NHL games and 164 NHL points are both the most by a former Tip, and he also represented the Czech Republic at the Olympics.
4) Ryan Murray
Years in Everett: 2009-12. Stats: 191 games, 121 points (22 goals, 99 assists).
The ultra-dependable two-way defenseman has been a trailblazer. He was the team’s highest ever NHL draft pick when he was selected second overall in 2012, he was the second-youngest player ever to play for Canada at the Men’s World Championships when he was an 18-year-old in 2012, and he became the first former Everett player to win the Stanley Cup when Colorado claimed the NHL title in 2022. He’s posted 131 points in 445 NHL games.
3) Dustin Wolf
Years in Everett: 2017-21. Stats: 106-34-4-2, 1.84 goals against average, .935 save percentage.
In most organizations Wolf would be the most decorated goaltender in franchise history. He was a two-time WHL Goaltender of the Year, also winning the CHL award in 2019-20. His career goals against average and save percentage are the best in franchise history. He was a seventh-round NHL draft pick who made his NHL debut last season. If the coronavirus pandemic didn’t happen and he led Everett to its first WHL championship, he might top this list.
2) Olen Zellweger
Years in Everett: 2019-22. Stats: 148 games, 131 points (28 goals, 103 assists).
No skater achieved more with the Tips. The dynamic defeseman twice was named the WHL Defenseman of the Year, also earning the CHL award last season when he split the campaign between Everett and Kamloops. He twice won gold with Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships while he was a Tip. He was a second-round NHL draft selection who is considered one of the top prospects in hockey, and he will begin his pro career this year.
1) Carter Hart
Years in Everett: 2014-18. Stats: 116-46-10-12, 2.01 goals against average, .927 save percentage.
Hart is arguably the greatest goaltender in major junior hockey history. He is the only player ever to win the WHL Goaltender of the Year award three times, as well as the only player to win the CHL Goaltender of the Year award twice. He twice backstopped Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships, winning gold in 2018. He took the Tips to the Western Conference championship in 2018. And he’s an established NHLer with an 84-84-10 record. No Tip has done more to pair excellence in Everett with excellence in the NHL.
Others in consideration: Jonathan Harty, Kyle Beach, Byron Froese, Jujhar Khaira, Mirco Mueller, Kevin Davis, Matt Fonteyne, Bryce Kindopp, Cole Fonstad, Gage Goncalves.
Follow Nick Patterson on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.