The Everett Silvertips begin their preparations for the 2018-19 season this week as the players arrive for training camp. On-ice sessions begin Thursday and run through Sunday at Angel of the Winds Arena. Approximately 80 players — both veterans and prospects — will be split into four teams to compete in scrimmages in a round-robin format, with the teams then playing off for the Volunteer Cup. Camp concludes Sunday with the annual Green vs. Grey game, which pits the best players from training came in a regular season-style game.
All sessions are open to the public and free of charge. Here’s the camp schedule:
Blue vs. Green, 11 a.m.
Grey vs. Red, 12:30 p.m.
Blue vs. Grey, 8:15 a.m.
Green vs. Red, 9:45 a.m.
Blue vs. Red, 3 p.m.
Green vs. Grey, 4:45 p.m.
Volunteer Cup bronze medal game, 8:15 a.m.
Volunteer Cup gold medal game, 9:45 a.m.
Rookie game, 4:45 p.m.
Annual Green vs. Grey game, 1:30 p.m.
This post will be updated with team rosters once they become available.
—- UPDATE, Thursday, 7:45 a.m.
Here are Everett’s training camp rosters. Players listed with their birth year:
Goaltenders: Danton Belluk (01), Blake Lyda (02).
Defensemen: Olen Zellweger (03), Nik Gusinsky (02), Ian Walker (00), Brodie Hebb (02), Reece Becker (01), Sahvan Khaira (98).
Forwards: Dawson Butt (00), Rylan Yates (03), Peter Melcher (01), Riley Sutter (99), Austin Kofler (03), Jason Seefeldt (03), Salvatore Collora (03), Ryley Morgan (02), Martin Fasko-Rudas (00), Jackson Berezowski (02), Grayson Chell (03), Bear Hughes (01).
Goaltenders: Danton Belluk (01), Carson Van Winkle (02).
Defensemen: Brent Johnson (03), Ryan Forster (02), Nico DeVita (01), Andrew Clark (99), Ronan Seeley (02), Kyle Walker (00).
Forwards: Curren Wintonyk-Pilot (03), Conrad Mitchell (01), Connor McGrath (03), Carter Halamandaris (03), Quinn Disher (03), Sean Richards (98), Luke Ormsby (99), Holden Cardinal (03), Brayden Morrison (02), Jake Alcaraz (02), Josh Harrison (01), Caden Pattison (01).
Goaltenders: Dustin Wolf (01), Kai Flett (03).
Defensemen: Ty Gibson (03), Ryan Bal (03), Tyson Conroy (02), Hank Gill (01), Jake Christiansen (99), Gianni Fairbrother (00).
Forwards: Slade Stanick (03), Sloan Stanick (03), Akash Bains (99), Nate Goodbrandson (03), Mitchell Finner (03), Jacob Wright (02), Cubby Myers (02), Max Neill (01), Carter Cockburn (01), Reece Vitelli (01), Gage Goncalves (01), Bronson Sharp (99).
Goaltenders: Braden Holt (03), Dustin Wolf (01).
Defensemen: Liam Fraser (03), Nathan DeGraves (03), Jameson Murray (99), Dylan Anderson (02), Wyatte Wylie (99), Alex Moar (01).
Forwards: Ean Somoza (03), Maxwell Mudge (03), Riley Girod (03), Davis Fry (03), Brendan Williamson (02), Blake Noble (02), Miles Seguin (01), Bryce Kindopp (99), Josh Olson (01), Cole Dubicki (01), Carter Anderson (01), Connor Dewar (99).
– Akash Bains is back. Bains, who was acquired from Red Deer last season, did not finish the season with the Tips. But he’s back now and he adds to Everett’s 19-year-old forward group.
– There are only six goaltenders in attendance, none older than 17. As a result Dustin Wolf and Danton Belluk, the only 17-year-old goalies in camp, are both pulling double duty by playing for two teams.
– Alan Caldwell recently posted his list of WHL protected lists, and there’s several forwards listed by Everett in the spring who are in attendance: Carter Cockburn, Max Neill, Jacob Wright, Brendan Williamson, Jake Alcaraz. Cockburn in particular is coming off a big season in which he scored 61 points in 48 games in the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League as a 16-year-old.
– All 11 of Everett’s selections from this year’s bantam draft are present.
– The most notable of the absentees is 16-year-old forward Kent Johnson. Johnson, a 10th-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft who had a huge year with 75 points in 35 games in the CSSHL U-18 league, signed last fall to play 2018-19 with Trail of the BCHL.
– One individual who’s back for a second go-around is former NHLer Brendan Morrison. Morrison, whose son Brayden is an Everett prospect, will be helping behind the bench with Team Red, reprising his role from last year’s training camp.
—- UPDATED, Thursday, 12:33 p.m.
Here’s some player thoughts from watching Thursday’s first scrimmage between Blue and Green. I was concentrating mostly on the younger players who weren’t on the team last year, but may make the team this year, as well as some of the higher picks from this year’s bantam draft. I should emphasize that this is the first time on the ice for camp, and it isn’t always the best time to make accurate evaluations of players as there’s often rust, nerves, etc. But anyway, here’s what I saw:
The first on-ice session of @WHLsilvertips training camp is about to begin, featuring the team’s big offseason trade acquisition, overage defenseman Sahvan Khaira. Rosters can be found here: https://t.co/QKFJxPmCW0 pic.twitter.com/XRBRfMeCmo
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) August 23, 2018
– Blue won this one 5-0, but in terms of territory the game was much closer. Blue did a better job capitalizing on opportunities.
– The player I was most interested in watching was defenseman Ronan Seeley. Seeley, Everett’s first-round pick in last year’s bantam draft, is coming off a big season in which he was named the MVP of the Telus Cup (Canada’s midget hockey national championship), and I was interested in seeing if he’s ready to make the jump straight into the lineup as a 16-year-old. From what I saw it looks like the instincts and the hands are there. The question, as it is with every young player, is whether the strength and the skating are ready yet. But he looks like a player.
– Sahvan Khaira is going to be a big addition for the Tips. The overage defenseman was acquired from Swift Current in the offseason, and it was evident from just one scrimmage the kind of size, ruggedness and poise he’s going to bring to the lineup.
– Two players I was keeping a close eye on from Blue were forward Jackson Berezowski and defenseman Olen Zellweger. Berezowski has a legit chance of making the team as a 16-year-old, and he made a nice set-up on one of Blue’s goals. Zellweger, Everett’s top pick in this year’s bantam draft, is small but appears to have an advanced offensive game.
– Green had a number of young forwards who I found interesting. Carter Halamandaris put himself into some good scoring positions and forced saves, Jake Alcaraz showed some shimmy to his game, Brayden Morrison played with some energy, and Holden Cardinal has some speed.
– As often happens during training camp the veteran defensemen get more aggressive skating the puck. I’d say the one who was most aggressive in that manner in this scrimmage was Kyle Walker.
– I didn’t see either Martin Fasko-Rudas or Peter Melcher out there, so there may have been a delay in the Slovaks arriving.
—- UPDATE, Thursday, 3:05 p.m.
Now for some thoughts on the day’s second scrimmage between Grey and Red. Same from above applies:
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) August 23, 2018
– Red topped Grey 4-2. Red dominated early to build a 2-0 lead. Grey gained momentum late and pulled within 3-2 before Red clinched it with an empty netter.
– I think the Tips are going to have some hard decisions to make with their defense. When Everett traded for Khaira I figured that pretty much closed the door on most of the younger defensemen making the team this year, with the exception of Seeley. But both Dylan Anderson and Alex Moar impressed playing for Red. If they continue to play like they did today, then they look like WHL-caliber players to me, and that gives the Tips a bushel of defensive candidates.
– Connor Dewar, Everett’s new captain, sure looked like he’s in midseason form already. He was everywhere.
– Veteran defenseman Gianni Fairbrother was in advanced positions so often I had to check whether he was actually playing forward rather than defense. I’m told he bulked up something fierce this offseason.
– Akash Bains didn’t finish the season with the Tips last year, but he’s back and he looked lively. It would be a nice bonus for Everett if Bains can be a useful 19-year-old for the team.
– Among the young forwards, I didn’t think anyone stood out that much, except maybe Carter Anderson. Anderson, a 17-year-old who I believe is not listed, did some positive things in the offensive zone.