Goaltender Ethan Chadwick, seen here during a game with the Saskatoon Blades, was acquired by the Everett Silvertips on Thursday, May 11, 2023. (Saskatoon Blades photo)

Goaltender Ethan Chadwick, seen here during a game with the Saskatoon Blades, was acquired by the Everett Silvertips on Thursday, May 11, 2023. (Saskatoon Blades photo)

Silvertips trade for goalie, add 11 players in WHL, U.S. drafts

Everett acquires Ethan Chadwick from Saskatoon and selects defenseman Brek Liske 10th overall in the WHL prospects draft.

For the second straight year the Everett Silvertips made a trade during the WHL prospects draft involving a veteran goaltender. However, this time it was about bringing a goaltender in instead of sending one out.

Everett made a significant addition to its goaltending corps Thursday, acquiring WHL veteran Ethan Chadwick from the Saskatoon Blades.

In addition to Chadwick, Everett added 11 players to its organization via Thursday’s WHL prospects draft and Wednesday’s U.S. priority draft. The drafted players, who were born in 2008 and come from western Canada and the western United States, are eligible to join the Tips full-time in the 2024-25 season.

Chadwick, who’s heading into his 19-year-old season, has two seasons of WHL experience under his belt. Last season the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native, who measures in at 6-foot and 177 pounds, went 23-9-1-1 with a 2.61 goals-against average and .899 save percentage with his hometown Blades.

It’s the second straight prospects draft in which Everett was involved in a goaltender trade, as last year the Tips sent overager-to-be Koen MacInnes to the Regina Pats on draft day.

Chadwick’s addition gives Everett plenty of experience in net for the upcoming season as he joins a group that includes returning overager Tyler Palmer.

“We were looking to add another veteran goalie into the mix with Tyler,” Everett general manager Dennis Williams said. “We felt like with the season Ethan had this year, with the team success they had in Saskatoon in the regular season and the playoffs, that he would bring valuable experience to us. We want a competitive environment at all times in all our positions, and we have good confidence in both goalies.”

Everett had an incredible stretch of goaltending from 2015-21 because of the presence of Carter Hart and Dustin Wolf, who won five WHL Goaltender of the Year awards between them. But finding reliable goaltending has been a challenge since, and it was particularly tumultuous in 2022-23. Braden Holt began the season as the undisputed No. 1, but the 19-year-old struggled and was traded in December to Victoria in exchange for the 19-year-old Palmer. Everett added more goaltender depth by acquiring 17-year-old Donavan Bodnar from Portland at the January trade deadline.

Palmer was a streaky workhorse in net, finishing 19-24-4-1 with a 3.66 goals-against average and .892 save percentage with Everett, then was 1-4 with a 3.15 goals against average and .901 save percentage in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Bodnar spent most of the second half of the season on the injury report with an upper-body issue, leaving 17-year-old import Tim Metzger as the rarely-used backup.

The addition of Chadwick, who split Saskatoon’s goaltending duties down the middle in both the regular season and postseason with fellow 18-year-old Austin Elliott, gives Everett plenty of options in goal as Metzger and Bodnar remain in the fold.

“We’re going to have to make some decisions, we can’t keep all four,” Williams said. “But the decisions we make are for the betterment of the club, and we feel that with the addition of Ethan we made our team better. And as we saw last year, it’s difficult to go through a season without some sort of injuries popping up. We feel that with what we did today we put ourselves in position to have two very good goaltenders.”

As for Thursday’s prospects draft, the Tips were heavily involved early because of the assets acquired from Kamloops in the January deal that sent defenseman Olen Zellweger and center Ryan Hofer to the Blazers. Everett had two first-round picks for just the second time in the franchise’s 21 years, and the Tips picked in each of the first six rounds for the first time since 2007. The headliners were defenseman Brek Liske from Beausejour, Manitoba, who was selected 10th overall, and forward Caine Wilke from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who was taken 20th overall.

“I think the draft went really well,” said Everett assistant general manager Mike Fraser, who oversees the draft. “Obviously a lot of work goes into it and the staff puts in a ton of work. We had a few more higher picks than we’ve had in quite a while, and I thought we did a really good job of picking up quality players who also have good character.”

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