Last Season: 47-16-2-3-99 points. The ‘Tips finished second in the Western Conference and took home their third straight U.S. Division title.
Dustin Wolf stepped into Carter Hart’s skates in net for Everett and won Western Conference goalie of the year honors with a 1.69 GAA and 0.936 save percentage to go along with 41 wins and seven shutouts. Connor Dewar was the heart-and-soul of the team, leading the way with 81 points in 59 games. His winger, Bryce Kindopp, added 39 goals and 34 assists for 73 points.
Everett was without its number one center, Riley Sutter, from January until well into the playoffs.
The Silvertips took out the Tri-City Americans in five games to open the playoffs and had home-ice advantage for their second round series with the Spokane Chiefs. Kindopp and Dewar struggled to find the net behind Spokane goalie Bailey Brkin and the stout Chiefs defense led by Ty Smith. They lost both games to start the series and then, because of scheduling issues, had to go to Spokane for three straight. They won only one game, losing in five to the Chiefs.
Losses: Both Sutter (41 points in 38 games) and Dewar will very likely be spending their 20-year-old seasons playing professional hockey. Forward Zack Andrusiak (64 points) and defensemen Artyom Minulin (18 points) and Sahvan Khaira (29 points) aged out of the league.
During the summer, forward Robbie Holmes (26 points) was sent back to the Regina Pats and 17-year-old goalie Blake Lyda was sent down I-5 to the Seattle Thunderbirds. Defenseman Ian Walker also surprised many by stepping away from hockey.
Akash Bains and Lucas Cullen also did not come to camp after playing parts of last season as 19-year-olds with Everett.
Assistant coach Harry Mahood also resigned.
Additions: Mahood was replaced by former NCAA assistant Mike Lysyj.
2002-born forward Michal Gut was Everett’s 2019 CHL Import Draft pick. Also signing and eligible to play this coming season are 2002-born Seattleite forward Brendan Lee and 2003-born forward and Alaska native Jack Lambert.
2001-born, right shot defenseman Parker Hendren was brought over from Vancouver during the preseason.
In net, 2000-born former USHL goalie Keegan Karki came over and will be looking to back up Wolf. 2003-born, Bozeman, Montana, native Braden Holt also signed.
Also looking to break into the league full time on the blue line are 17-year-old d-men Dylan Anderson and Aidan Sutter and 16-year-olds Olen Zellweger and Ty Gibson.
Up front, Jacob Wight (2002) joins Lambert, Lee, and Gut as fresh faces trying to make a splash. Preseason injuries to Martin Fasko-Rudas and Jackson Berezowski could give them some regular season games to state their case.
Three storylines for this season:
- Depth up the middle. Sutter and Dewar took a lot of big draws for Everett over the years and were Everett’s most defensively responsible forwards as well. Losing them leaves opportunities for players like 2002-born center Reece Vitelli and overage, WHL champion Max Patterson. Vitelli has shown flashes of being that next playmaker for Everett. He will be expected to drastically improve on the 27 points he put up last season.
- Overage dilemma. They got down to four with Kindopp and Patterson up front and Wyatte Wylie (47 points) and Jake Christiansen (44 points) on the blue line. Wylie is a draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers and could earn a pro contract. If the local kid comes back, that leaves one too many 1999-born players. Usually Everett likes to go with the home-grown players, but the lack of depth up front makes Patterson an intriguing option. Christiansen or Wylie would get quite the return from teams as either would be a top-pairing d-man on most, if not all, teams. Having some depth back there with Montreal draft pick Gianni Fairbrother and preseason darling, 2002-born Ronan Seeley could make one of the two overage d-men the odd man out.
3. Older backup goalie? The hulking Karki is a year older than Wolf, which makes his decision to sign in the WHL and forego the NCAA an odd move. Everett must feel like Wolf has a strong shot at making the USA’s U-20 World Juniors team. Karki might be needed to step in and play during the near month Wolf would be out if he makes the team. He played five games all of last season between the USHL and NAHL. Is he ready to take the reins if needed?