EVERETT — For the second time in three weeks the Everett Silvertips were judged to have the WHL’s best.
Everett center Ivan Nikolishin was honored by the league Tuesday when he was named the WHL Player of the Week for Oct. 6-12.
“It feels great,” Nikolishin said. “I’ve never gotten that before. It’s something new, it’s really good, I like it.”
Nikolishin, an 18-year-old from Russia, had two goals and four assists as Everett won both its games over the weekend. He had a goal and two assists in the Tips’ 6-2 home victory over Portland on Friday, then followed up with another goal and two assists as Everett won 5-1 at Kamloops on Saturday. He finished with a plus-4 rating over the two games.
“It was a good weekend,” Nikolishin said. “The team won and that’s probably the most important thing. I don’t’ really care how I play, all I care about is the team. We won and I’m happy I helped the team out.”
Nikolishin is Everett’s leading returning scorer from last season after putting up 59 points (18 goals, 41 assists) in 72 games as a rookie. He got off to a bit of a slow start this season, managing just three assists in Everett’s first five games. But he now ranks second on the team in scoring with nine points in seven games.
“I think I played better,” Nikolishin said. “I was managing the puck and talking more to my teammates and was able to contribute more scoring chances.”
Nikolishin is Everett’s second Player of the Week honoree this season. Two weeks ago winger Carson Stadnyk, Nikolishin’s linemate, was named the WHL Player of the Week for tallying three goals and four assists in two games.
Saturday’s game in Kamloops couldn’t have gone much better for Everett defenseman Kevin Davis. Not only did the Tips win, the Kamloops native scored a goal in his hometown.
Everett trailed 1-0 late in the first period when Davis received a pass at the left point, then strode toward goal. He made a quick move and fired a shot from the left circle that got under Kamloops goaltender Bolton Pouliot to tie the score.
“It felt really good,” said the second-year player, who estimated he had about 20 family members and friends in attendance to witness his third career WHL goal.
“I got a very nice pass from (Stadnyk), I believe,” Davis added. “It went five-hole along the ice, I was just trying to get it on net.”
Davis finished a plus-3 and was named the game’s third star.
Wednesday is the WHL’s deadline for teams to get down to three overagers. Everett does not need to make an overager move as the Tips appear set with defenseman Ben Betker, center Kohl Bauml and winger Brayden Low.
However, The Tips seemed set at the overager deadline two years ago, only to pick up defenseman Connor Cox on cutdown after he was released by Saskatoon. Everett was forced to cut winger Cody Fowlie to make room for Cox.
There is unlikely to be much action at this year’s overager cutdown as most teams have settled on their three 20-year-olds.
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.