The Everett Silvertips’ focus on Thursday was building for the future. However, the Tips also made their first move toward refining their roster for the present.
Everett took the occasion of Thursday’s WHL prospects draft to clear up its goaltending situation for the 2022-23 season, trading Koen MacInnes to the Regina Pats for a pair of prospect draft picks. The Tips received a sixth-round pick in Thursday’s draft and a conditional seventh rounder in 2024.
MacInnes, who was acquired from Saskatoon last offseason, split goaltending duties down the middle with Braden Holt the past season. MacInnes appeared in 37 games during the regular season, going 21-7-2-3 with a 2.60 goals against average and .909 save percentage.
However, MacInnes is heading into his 20-year-old season, and Everett had eight players on its roster vying for three overage spots on next season’s roster. Holt, who received the bulk of the work during the postseason, is a year younger, meaning he won’t use up an overage roster spot. Therefore, moving MacInnes was not unexpected.
The move makes Holt, who was 24-6-2-2 with a 2.56 goals against average and .909 save percentage in 37 games, the clear No. 1 goaltender for next season.
Meanwhile, Everett selected nine players — four forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders — in Thursday’s draft, which distributed the rights to players from western Canada who were born in 2007 among the WHL’s 22 teams. The Tips also picked two forwards in Wednesday’s U.S. priority draft, which was for 2007-born players from the western United States. These players won’t be eligible to join the Tips full-time until the 2023-24 season.
”I think we did pretty well,” Everett director of player personnel Mike Fraser said. “It’s always a little challenging when you’re missing a couple higher picks like we were, but I think we did a good job as a staff.
“It was a tough year when you have two drafts in one season (the 2021 prospects draft was postponed from May to December because of the coronavirus pandemic), and I thought our scouts did a really good job of evaluating guys in the short time they had.”
Here’s a capsule look at the players Everett selected, including comments from Fraser:
WHL prospects draft
First round (20th overall): Julien Maze, forward, 5-foot-8, 129 pounds, Edmonton, Alberta
Stats: Had 22 goals and 24 assists in 24 games with OHA Edmonton U15 Prep
Fraser: I have a lot of time for his hockey sense, quickness and the way he moves pucks. He’s a really dynamic player who I think really fits into the Everett Silvertips style of play and should fit into our forward group nicely.
Fourth round (86th overall): Corbin Sanderman, goaltender, 5-foot-11, 155 pounds, Three Hills, Alberta
Stats: Went 16-1-1 with a 2.40 goals against average and .911 save percentage in 18 games with Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA
Fraser: We actually rated him at the top of our goalie list. The way the draft goes, when one goalie comes off the board they tend to come off quickly. We were really happy he was still available when we picked in the fourth.
Fifth round (108th overall): Ethan Makokis, defenseman, 5-foot-7, 145 pounds, St. Albert, Alberta
Stats: Had nine goals and 12 assists in 24 games with OHA Edmonton U15 Prep
Fraser: Ethan is an interesting player, he was a defenseman who started this year playing forward then switched back to defense again. He moves the puck really well and plays really hard. He’s smaller in stature, but he doesn’t play that way at all.
Sixth round (124th overall): Kaeson Fisher, defenseman, 5-foot-9, 130 pounds, Brandon, Manitoba
Stats: Had four goals and 13 assists in 24 games with Brandon Wheat Kings U15 AAA
Fraser: I think he’s a player who’s only scratching the surface of what he can do. He’s a smooth player who doesn’t panic under pressure, and we saw more offense from him as the season went along.
Sixth round (130th overall): Lukas Kaplan, forward, 5-foot-6, 119 pounds, Spruce Grove, Alberta
Stats: Had 25 goals and 20 assists in 28 games with Northern Alberta Xtreme U15 Prep
Fraser: He was on a very deep team and really worked his way up the lineup the entire season. He’s a very tenacious player, and we like the upside of his offensive ability.
Eighth round (155th overall): Remy Hlady, forward, 5-foot-10, 144 pounds, Tyndall, Manitoba
Stats: Had 19 goals and 29 assists in 29 games with Eastman Selects U-15 AAA
Fraser: He kind of sprouted up a little bit, and as the season went along he started to come into his own and show what he can do as an offensive player. He has a frame he can still grow into, so we think he has good upside.
Ninth round (177th overall): Connor Wolitski, defenseman, 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, Spruce Grove, Alberta
Stats: Had nine goals and 26 assists in 33 games with PAC Saints U15 AAA
Fraser: Connor is just a steady, smooth defenseman, kind of an all-situational type of player. He does a good job moving pucks and doesn’t panic under pressure.
Ninth round (182nd overall): Gino Cotroneo, forward, 5-foot-1, 115 pounds, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Stats: Had 14 goals and 26 assists in 32 games with Winnipeg Wild Gold U15 AAA
Fraser: Obviously the first thing people notice about him is his size, but our senior scout in Manitoba, Doug Sinclair, absolutely loves this player. He’s really dynamic, plays the game quick and is a good playmaker.
10th round (212th overall): Charles Menard, goaltender, 5-foot-11, 140 pounds, Fairbanks, Alaska
Stats: Stats not available for Team Alaska 14U AAA
Fraser: We were discussing him (Wednesday) during the U.S. draft, and we got good reports on him. We felt like we didn’t want to pass on him two days in a row.
U.S. priority draft
First round (13th overall): Ben Kevan, forward, 6-foot, 155 pounds, Fairfield, California
Stats: Had 67 goals and 48 assists in 61 games with Los Angeles Jr. Kings 14U AAA
Fraser: He was very high on our U.S. list. He has a lanky frame that he’s still growing into, but he has good offensive ability and put up big-time numbers. We’ve already spoken to the family and they’re excited to come check things out.
Second round (32nd overall): Patrick McSharry, forward, 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, Anchorage, Alaska
Stats: Had 46 goals and 23 assists in 43 games with Team Alaska 14U AAA
Fraser: I like his feet, his quickness and his ability to make plays in tight areas. He and Menard (who were teammates) are fairly close, so we’re excited to see them both in camp.