EVERETT — Ronan Seeley is now an Everett Silvertip.
Seeley, a left defenseman, was Everett’s first-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. On Tuesday the Silvertips announced they have inked the 5-foot-10, 170-pound blueliner to a WHL standard player agreement.
“His hands, his feet and his head are all really exceptional,” general manager Garry Davidson said. “The biggest thing he’s got going for him is that he’s not physically mature yet. He’s not overly big or strong yet, but that will come in due course. We’re very pleased to get him signed. He has a huge upside and has a chance to play above and beyond our level.”
A native of Olds, Alberta, Seeley was the 20th overall selection by Everett. He attended training camp in Everett last August and duly impressed the Silvertips brass.
“He came to training camp and showed us even more than we initially thought about his game,” Davidson said. “In all the sessions he played (at camp) he looked totally comfortable and in control. He wasn’t intimidated by the tempo or the speed at all.”
So far this season Seeley has scored two goals with nine assists for the Lethbridge Hurricanes midget AAA team. He skated for Team Alberta and added a goal and two assists in five games at the WHL Cup in October. He and his Lethbridge teammates will compete at the prestigious Mac’s Midget Tournament in Calgary beginning on Boxing Day.
As a bantam player Seeley tallied eight goals and 30 assists in 35 regular-season games for the Red Deer Rebels bantam AA team, and added five goals and an assist in five playoff games.
The scouting service Western Elite Hockey Prospects had Seeley as the 34th-ranked prospect heading into the draft.
“Ronan is another two-way defender with great skating ability,” WEHP wrote in its bantam draft preview. “(He) has a good feel for the game and displays good vision in all areas of the ice. Ronan has an offensive flare to his game and enjoys joining the rush. He has a powerful skating stride, (and) looks like a WHL player.”
In May, Silvertips director of player personnel Bil La Forge likened Seeley’s skill-set to that of two prolific Tips blueliners.
“I think there is some Kevin Davis to him,” La Forge said after the draft. “He plays in every situation like Kevin does and he’s a great skater and he can pass the puck. I think there is a lot of Kevin in him, but I know a couple people told me that he reminds them of Noah Juulsen too, so if we can get a mix between those two, that’s pretty good.”
Seeley is the second-born of former WHLer Patrick Seeley’s five children. The elder Seeley played for the New Westminster Bruins and the Spokane Chiefs.
Davidson described the younger Seeley as “one of the elite defensemen in Western Canada” and said the organization would like to get him to Everett for a weekend in January to spend time with the team. As a 15-year-old Seeley is eligible to play in five games before his midget season concludes.
“When his midget season is over he becomes a nice depth guy to bring in,” Davidson added.
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