The Silvertips solved their logjam in the crease on Friday night, as Everett traded 19-year-old goaltender Keegan Karki to the Prince Albert Raiders in exchange of a fourth-round pick in 2020. The deal was announced following the Silvertips’ 4-3 loss to Prince George on Friday.
“Keegan came in with the idea of establishing himself as a goaltender in the Western Hockey League and I think he did, but we also told him we would make a decision at some point,” Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson said. “… With that process we were able to find a spot for him and were able to get some compensation out of the deal. I am hoping it’s a win-win for everybody, whether it’s Keegan, PA or ourselves.”
Karki, a Sartell, Minnesota, native, posted a 3.19 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage in 13 games this season for the Silvertips. Karki, who was primarily Dustin Wolf’s backup this season after signing a contract with Everett in the offseason, heads to Prince Albert, which currently possesses 2001-born Boston Bilous and 2002-born Carter Serhyenko as its two netminders.
With Dustin Wolf set to return to Everett after Team USA was bounced from the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic by Finland on Thursday morning, the Silvertips will go with Wolf and 16-year-old Braden Holt in net down the stretch.
Holt will start for the Silvertips on Saturday, with an emergency backup on the bench just in case of emergency. Davidson said he wouldn’t disclose the name of the backup.
Wolf boasts the WHL’s highest save percentage (.941) and second-lowest goals-against average (1.91) in 24 games this season.
Holt boasts a 2.99 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in two games this season. The Silvertips see Holt as the organization’s goaltender of the future and are confident with him as Wolf’s backup for the remainder of the season.
“I think he’s continued to get better and better from when we’ve drafted him to training camp,” Davidson said. “Also (I’ve been impressed) by his attitude and how he’s stayed the course, despite the fact it’s probably been a little frustrating. I’m a big fan. We drafted him and I haven’t lost any confidence in what he is and what he’s going to be.”
Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter, @JoshHortonEDH.