When Brendan Lee was placed on the Everett Silvertips’ protected list in June, and club general manager Garry Davidson invited him to training camp, the offer was one he could hardly pass up.
It’s because Lee, a 2002-born listed forward, who has played the past two seasons with the Colorado Thunderbirds Under-16 program, grew up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle and fondly remembers attending Silvertips games as a youngster.
“I always did the 50-50 (raffles) as a kid and even have a Silvertips bobblehead (Tyler Maxwell) above my bed still,” Lee said.
He got into hockey because both of his parents were born north of the border — his father, Greg, was born in Vancouver and his mother, Lisa, grew up in Edmonton. His family moved to Seattle when Greg took a job with Microsoft before Brendan was born, but his family still imparted their love for the game to him.
The Silvertips listed Lee in June and subsequently invited him to their training camp.
“It’s always been a dream to play here and I got a call from Garry after the season and he influenced me to come here and try it out,” Lee said. “I’m liking it so far.”
The Seattle native has flashed some offensive upside in training camp, and registered an assist on Jacob Wright’s goal in the Green vs. Grey game on Sunday.
“I’m just trying to show that I’m a goal scorer and that I can make an impact right away,” Lee said.
Lee isn’t the only local player to impress during Silvertips training camp.
Another area forward that acquitted himself well is Jack Lambert, a 16-year-old who played this past season with the Jr. Silvertips under-15 elite team.
Lambert is originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, but moved to Everett to play for the Jr. Silvertips Elite program a year ago, because it was a step up in competition and “close to home.” He lives with Turner Stevenson, a former NHL player that runs the Everett Elite program and coaches the 16U team.
“He puts me to work sometimes, which isn’t always the funnest,” Lambert said, “but I like it there.”
After a standout start to the season with the Jr. Silvertips Under-15 squad, Lambert was placed on Everett’s 50-player protected list in January.
“It was surreal. I was so happy when it happened,” Lambert said.
It subsequently earned Lambert a chance at the Silvertips’ 2019 training camp, where he flashed enough ability with Team Red to earn a spot on Team Grey in the Green vs. Grey game.
Lambert’s stock has risen plenty since he’s moved to play in the continental United States. In July, Lambert attended the USA Hockey national development camp in Amherst, New York.
Although his notoriety has risen, his goal remains to play in the Western Hockey League, specifically for Everett.
“I haven’t really thought of college hockey,” Lambert said. “I came here hoping to get picked up by the Silvertips and playing here in Everett.”
Another local standout from the Jr. Silvertips program was 2003-born defenseman Miles Berg, who played this past season for the U-16 elite team.
Berg, a Lynnwood native, was one of just four unsigned defensemen to be named to the Green vs. Grey game. Berg skated with Team Grey with Wyatte Wylie, another local product, on whom Berg said he modeled his game.
“This is my first ever actual (Silvertips) camp and I think it’s really special,” Berg said. “You get to showcase something in front of people that don’t usually get to watch you.”
Berg said he tried to keep it simple throughout training camp so he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the moment, but he also stayed loose enough to make plays when they presented themselves on the ice.
“It’s really reactive,” Berg said. “If you see something you can do, you try it. Mistakes happen, it’s always natural. If you have something to do, like go down and shoot, you just take the opportunity.”