EVERETT — It didn’t take long for the Everett Silvertips to solve their overage situation.
The Silvertips traded Max Patterson to their archrival, the Seattle Thunderbirds, on Friday, acquiring a fourth-round pick in 2020 in return. The trade leaves defenseman Jake Christiansen, defenseman Wyatte Wylie and forward Bryce Kindopp as the team’s three overagers.
“We know what Max is. He’s a big power forward, so we’re losing that in him,” Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson said. “But we’re adding a defenseman (in Jake Christiansen) that can play 30 minutes a night, drive lots of offense, is very experienced and will be one of the premier defensemen in the Western (Hockey) League as an overager over the rest of the season here.”
The bread crumbs for a potential trade with Seattle were left on Thursday.
First, Christiansen was released from his professional tryout with the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat and re-assigned to Everett, leaving the Silvertips with four overagers — Western Hockey League rules allow just three players 20 years old or older on rosters. Later on Thursday night, the Thunderbirds traded overage forward Matthew Wedman to the Kelowna Rockets for a bevy of draft picks, freeing up an overage slot.
Although Everett had 14 days to rectify its overage situation, it took Davidson only one.
“Not a lot of (teams) were looking for overagers, so there weren’t a lot of landing spots,” Davidson said. “That was one of my biggest concerns when this dragged out, is if Jake came back, what opportunities there would be to place overagers, and it turned out Seattle moved Wedman so they needed to fill a hole there.
“We’re happy about everything that’s gone on, with getting Jake back and finding a landing spot for Max there (in Seattle).”
Everett will stick with three players, for the time being, the organization drafted and developed in Wylie, Christiansen and Kindopp as the team’s overage crew.
Patterson posted 12 points and three goals in 24 games this season for the Silvertips. He was acquired last season from Swift Current for a fourth-round pick in 2020 and prospect Dawson Springer.
Davidson had nothing but positive things to say about Patterson’s roughly year-long tenure as a Silvertip.
“He’s been a really solid player for us and an outstanding leader and an outstanding citizen, all the way around,” Davidson said. “He epitomizes what we look for in Silvertips as far as people.”
The Silvertips and Thunderbirds face off against each other seven more times this season, the next being on Jan. 11 at Seattle.
This is the second consecutive year the Silvertips made a significant trade with their Interstate-5 rival. Last season, Everett acquired overage forward Zack Andrusiak from the Thunderbirds in a New Year’s Day deal.
Patterson’s departure will cause some ripple effects within the Silvertips’ roster structure.
Most notably, the Silvertips are now, once again, woefully thin at center, with just Gage Goncalves and Michal Gut as true options at the pivot spot. Patterson was also one of Everett’s top players in the face-off circle.
“Between now and (the) January 10th (trade deadline) we’ll continue to see what’s available out there to make us stronger,” Davidson said. “We’re obviously a good team and a contender, so we’re going to see if there is a possibility of adding somebody. And the emphasis would be a centerman if there is such a person out there available.”
Additionally, Gut is leaving for the Czech Republic after the Silvertips’ Dec. 8 game at Calgary for his home country’s World Junior selection camp. Martin Fasko-Rudas could also be in the mix for Slovakia’s World Junior team, although nothing has been announced yet.
Christiansen’s arrival gives Everett eight defensemen, a position they’ll lean on heavily. With just 11 forwards available — Jacob Wright and Tyson Phare did not travel with the team on its Central Division swing with upper-body injuries — playing time will be plentiful for those eight on the blueline.
For portions of December, Everett could be down to just nine available forwards, depending on the health of Wright and Phare. Davidson mentioned that some defensemen may be tasked with playing forward while Everett is in a pinch.
Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter, @JoshHortonEDH.