There’s no consensus, but the goaltender has the edge.
This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to weigh in on the Everett Silvertips. The Tips’ regular season concludes Saturday, and Everett has already clinched its third straight U.S. Division championship. Therefore, we asked readers to vote on who they thought Everett’s MVP was this season. Here’s how you voted:
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) March 11, 2019
Add it all up and goaltender Dustin Wolf received the most support with 39 percent of the vote. However, it was a tight race, with forwards Connor Dewar and Bryce Kindopp getting 31 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Another 6 percent chose the “other” option.
It’s hard to argue with Choosing Wolf as the MVP. The 17-year-old goaltender is having a season that would be historical statistically had he not succeeded Carter Hart as Everett’s goaltender. He’s currently in line to win the WHL goaltending triple crown as he leads the league in wins (41), goals against average (1.69) and save percentage (.936). Hockey coaches like to talk about how their goaltenders are their foundations, and there’s no question Wolf has given the Tips a fabulous foundation to build upon.
That said, I think a good argument can be made for both Dewar and Kindopp. Dewar really is the guy who makes Everett go. He’s the team’s captain, he sets a tremendous example with how hard he competes each and every shift, and he’s the team’s leading scorer with 79 points (35 goals, 44 assists) in 58 games. He plays on the power play and penalty kill, he scores empty-net goals, he basically does everything.
Meanwhile, Kindopp really came on in the second half of the season to warrant consideration. He’s Everett’s leading goal scorer with 39, and he’s scored a ton of big goals, as evidenced by his team-leading 10 game winners. Everett has limited sources of offense up front, and when Riley Sutter went down injured it left a gaping hole. Kindopp is the player who’s done the most to fill that hole.
I was a little surprised there wasn’t more support for the “other” choice. To me the strongest aspect of Everett’s team this season is its defense, and in guys like Wyatte Wylie and Jake Christiansen there are defensemen who have an argument. But that said, the strength of Everett’s defense is more in its depth and experience, rather than any one player in particular, so I understand that it’s difficult to pick out one specific defenseman to vote for.
Everett holds its end-of-season awards ceremony following Saturday’s season finale against Victoria at Angel of the Winds Arena. That’s when we’ll find out how well the voters’ choice for MVP aligns with the team’s.