The Everett Silvertips acquired defenseman Aaron Irving (left) on Wednesday in a trade with the Edmonton Oil Kings. (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Silvertips add star defenseman Irving in trade with Edmonton

EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips are indeed “going for it.”

Everett emphatically affirmed it remains in hot pursuit of the 2016-17 Western Hockey League championship Wednesday when the organization acquired overage defenseman Aaron Irving from the Edmonton Oil Kings in a blockbuster deal for overage forward Graham Millar, rookie forward Brett Kemp and a 2018 first-round bantam pick.

Everett also receives a seventh-round pick in 2017.

“We’ve added a 20-year-old with tremendous experience who really brings quality things to our situation and really fits in nicely with our top four veteran defensemen,” Everett general manager Garry Davidson said.

Irving is a 6-foot-1, 198-pound right-handed blueliner from Edmonton who was the Oil Kings’ captain this season. He was Edmonton’s first-round bantam pick in 2011. He was also a sixth-round pick of the Nashville Predators in the 2014 NHL draft, but did not sign.

This season Irving was leading the Oil Kings in scoring with 14 goals and 29 assists in 39 games. He has 38 goals and 88 assists in 245 career regular-season WHL games and two assists in 32 career playoff games. He leaves Edmonton as the organization’s career scoring leader among defensemen.

“We certainly look into character and we know he has outstanding character,” Davidson said. “He was their captain and a leader for them. Those were important things, but certainly also very important was his presence on the ice and statistically where he is. He’s having a tremendous year, a career year, and that’s a positive.”

Irving was a member of Edmonton’s Memorial Cup-winning team in 2014 – a fact not lost on the Silvertips brass.

“That’s very important,” Davidson said. “As we head into the second half of the season and look at trying to make run in the playoffs, his experience and what he’s done in the past will be a real benefit.”

Irving adds depth and experience to a Silvertips defensive unit that previously featured three rookies among its seven regulars. Everett now has eight blueliners and that’s the number the organization envisions being necessary for a substantial playoff run.

Millar, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound native of Penticton, B.C., had nine goals and seven assists in 25 games this season. He was in his third season with Everett since being acquired from Saskatoon prior to the 2014-15 season. Millar has 44 goals and 39 assists in 226 career regular-season WHL games.

“He’s been a solid Tips player and a quality citizen as well,” Davidson said of Millar. “But again we felt our need was to add an experienced top-end defenseman. I hope (Millar) goes there and has a good second half and we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to help him going forward.”

Kemp, a 5-foot-11, 160-pounder from Yorkton, Saskatchewan, had three goals and four assists in 17 games this season. The 2000-born center was Everett’s second-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft.

He was seen as a big part of Everett’s offensive future and Davidson was loathe to part with the 16-year-old.

“I certainly struggled with offering (Kemp), but the more I looked at it, I thought that you have to give up something to get something,” Davidson said. “The more I talked to other teams it became clear that to get a defenseman of value and experience was going to cost us a good young player.”

The Silvertips enter the weekend with a 25-5-6-0 record and 56 points. That is tied with Prince George for the Western Conference lead and second in the WHL to Regina’s 59 points.

For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Most fall sports at Everett CC, Edmonds moved to spring

In an announcement, the NWAC also announced a delay to the men’s and women’s basketball season.

WIAA delays start of fall high school sports season

Football practices are now scheduled to start Sept. 5 and all other fall sports will begin Sept. 7.

90th Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament canceled

The annual event had been postponed, but now won’t be played for the first time since 1931.

Arlington thrower Julia Parra

The standout track and field athlete will continue her career at WSU while studying medicine.

Darrington baseball player Brevin Ross

The shortstop/catcher played five years of varsity baseball and also starred on the basketball team.

Meadowdale softball player Kate Houghton

The standout pitcher will play college softball at Central Connecticut State University.

Community sports roundup: SnoCo Sports HoF banquet canceled

Plus, Snohomish County FC adds a women’s team, the Snohomish Soccer Dome gets new management and more.

Shorewood alum Snell issues apology for part of rant

The Rays pitcher says he wishes he had not said, “I’m not playing unless I get mine.”

Mariners begin ‘summer camp’ at T-Mobile Park

But the workouts look a whole lot different amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Prep notebook: Kamiak hires new boys wrestling coach

Plus, a Meadowdale junior gets picked for the WIAA LEAP Committee.

Marysville Pilchuck soccer player Edgar Martinez

Standout defender also kicked for the football team and shares a name with a Seattle Mariners icon.

What’s next for Mariners’ minor-leaguers?

The the minor-league season canceled, most young players will be left to work out on their own.