Who’s going first?
The NHL draft takes place this weekend in Dallas, with the first round on Friday and rounds two through seven occurring on Saturday. As far as the Everett Silvertips are concerned this year, it’s debatable which player will hear his name called first.
Everett has three players who are considered legitimate candidates to be drafted this year: center Riley Sutter, defenseman Wyatte Wylie and winger Connor Dewar. None are expected to be taken Friday, but all three are candidates to be picked Saturday. Usually it’s obvious which Everett player will be drafted first, but this year arguments can be made for each being the first one selected.
Sutter is the safest bet to get drafted. He’s been on the NHL draft radar for more than a year, was one of 40 players to participate in the CHL Top Prospects Game in January, and was one of 104 players invited to the NHL Scouting Combine at the beginning of June. Add in his size (6-foot-3) and pedigree as a member of the fabled Sutter hockey family and it’s essentially a lock that he’ll be drafted. He’s listed at No. 80 among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings, which puts him in the range of the middle rounds.
However, Sutter is not the highest-ranked Everett player. Wylie finished tops among Everett players by Central Scouting, coming in at No. 71 among North American skaters in the final rankings. Wylie also has more rankings momentum than Sutter, as he zoomed all the way up from No. 179 in the midterm rankings, while Sutter actually saw his placement slip a tad from No. 72 at the midterm. Wylie has the chance to be the first product of Everett Youth Hockey — thereby meaning the first player inspired by the Silvertips arriving in Everett in 2003 — to be selected in the NHL draft.
As for Dewar, he had the best season of the three, leading the team in goals during the regular season and finishing second on the team in scoring during the playoffs. The difference is that although all three were born in the same year (1999), Sutter and Wylie have birthdates after Sept. 15, meaning this is the first year they are eligible for the NHL draft, while Dewar was eligible last year and passed over. Dewar came in at No. 117 on Central Scouting’s final rankings for North American skaters, which typically is in the bubble range for getting drafted. However, the rankings tend to be less reliable when it comes to overage draft candidates.
Incidentally, Everett didn’t have any players selected in last year’s NHL draft, and the last time the Tips had multiple players drafted was 2013 when defenseman Mirco Mueller was taken in the first round and fellow D-man Ben Betker was picked in the sixth. This could be the first time Everett has three players drafted since 2010.
So who comes off the board first? Make your prediction here: