DAY 3 // Everything Coming Together


We’ve got a training camp champion, we’ve got more read on prospects, we’ve got stories.

5 takeaways from day 3:

  1. RUN AND GUN: Team Green cruised to an 8-1 victory in the bronze medal game at bright and early, 8:15am. Several contributors hit the scoreboard, which featured goals from the dazzling (Brayden Morrison) to the simple. Team Green was everywhere.
  2. DEWAR IN RED: You surprised the Tips captain was behind a 2-1 gold medal, Volunteer Cup win? Team Red, despite a series of masterful saves by Braden Holt, trailed 1-0 with goaltender Blake Lyda wheeling in the second half. Dylan Anderson knotted the game on a jaw-dropping, never-quit, highlight reel goal. It gets better. Connor Dewar, who reportedly said on the ice, “we’re not going to overtime, boys”, came through on his promise. He earned the winner on a snap shot off an end zone face-off and Team Red preserved the one goal victory. Not bad to start off the season as captain.
  3. MORE MORRISON: Brayden Morrison is a budding 16-year old prospect back for his second trip to Silvertips training camp, drafted in 2017. The NHL bloodlines are thick. His father, Brendan, was a star center for the Vancouver Canucks in the 2000’s, teaming with linemates Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi to form the “West Coast Express.” Both are in camp with the Silvertips – Brayden as a player, Brendan as a coach. The latter has another connection: Brendan played in the BCHL for Tips GM Garry Davidson. So yes, we have a full interview and feature coming later: everything from Brayden’s time on ice with the Washington Capitals as a youngster, watching Alex Ovechkin, to Brendan’s hilarious ode to Naslund and Bertuzzi.
  4. ROOKIE GAME RUNAWAY: So how about the Stanick twins? Brothers Sloan (Tips draft pick in 2018) and Slade (camp invitee) were a part of a show-stealing effort in Team White’s 6-3 victory. The more the game progressed, the more they were confident with the puck. They took advantage of gaps. They got into prime scoring areas. They had an ear-to-ear grin after the game – it’ll be one they won’t forget for a long time.
  5. HOLT(ING) THE FORT DOWN: Get to know Braden Holt, taken by the Tips in the 2018 Draft, in this conversation below. He looked incredibly sharp in camp. As a U.S.-born goaltender, he’s jumped around with family from Montana, to Colorado, and Michigan to reach the next level. He’s as well spoken as Mom and Dad. Nothing got by him (13 saves) in his Rookie Game appearance. He spoke more below, before heading out to dinner in downtown Everett with family:

 

Green vs. Grey Game on Sunday: 1:30pm.

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CAMP ENTRY // Day 2, Speeding to This Day


Day 2 of Everett Silvertips training camp is no different: the first day of “school” is out of the way, the pleasantries are in the past, and everyone is down to business from the first drop of the puck not to far away from dawn.

By dusk, everyone has a better indication of who’s made their big push for a roster spot, and what teams we’ll see in a competitive environment.

Two games have turned into four, and we’re set for a Volunteer Cup showdown (given to the scrimmage champion) and Rookie Game at 4:45.

Here are five things from the day:

  1. IMPORTED, GOOD (TO GO): Peter Melcher suited up for the first day of training camp on Friday, amazingly after getting off the plane on Thursday following 48 hours of straight travel from Europe. He is amazingly fluent in English too, previously taking a course last season. He’s now trilingual, and fluent in Czech, English, and Russian.
  2. THE OTHER ONE?: That would be Martin Fasko-Rudas, you all know about him, and he’ll get into downtown Everett on Saturday.
  3. BRYCE YOURSELVES: Bryce Kindopp had a hat trick in one scrimmage game on Friday, and by the time I was able to get along the glass for a taste of Team Red’s scrimmage in the morning, 10 seconds later he popped in a Connor Dewar centering pass from the mid slot.
  4. WALKER WEIGHS IN, WEIGHS DOWN: Kyle Walker is one of many Tips who committed to a rigid workout program in the offseason, and the result is a more lean and trim defenseman who dropped 15 pounds since clean-out day, a little over three months ago. Walker attributed the achievement to a restrictive diet, limiting the amount of grain carbohydrates (read: bread, spaghetti, other traditional pasta) for his daily intake and loading up on proteins, vegetables, and fruit.
  5. THE CAPTAIN WEIGHS IN: Connor Dewar (with another year to go after a 38-goal campaign and NHL Draft selection in Minnesota) sat down after day two.

 

See you in the seats for day 3. Rookie Game at 4:45pm.

CAMP ENTRY // Day 1, Speeding to This Day


DAY 1 – ANGEL OF THE WINDS ARENA (Thursday, Aug. 23) 

Well, did we all have a good offseason?

It was short, needless to say.

So short, it was the shortest in franchise history.

Since the Silvertips – entering this season as defending Western Conference champions – left for the calmer pastures of summer following the WHL Championship Series, to the point of getting back on ice, the short summer lasted a little under a minuscule 100 days. That’s a compact amount of time, say, if you’re Connor Dewar, Riley Sutter, Wyatte Wylie, or other Silvertips going through the NHL development camp process, competing in summer tournaments, or working to bulk up or get faster.

Hey, there’s not a lot of time to get bored.

For Silvertips fans, the short offseason is something of a treat. Hockey is back in the blink of an eye.

For day one of camp, here are five things from Thursday:

  1. What’s new: A.O.T.W. Arena and Silvertips home ice got a slight makeover during the offseason. A brand new, “NHL style” plexiglass system has been installed, accompanied by necessary dasherboard upgrades. The Silvertips (like several other teams) have long used tempered “seamless” glass for years – mainly along the side boards with more flexible plexiglass behind the net (where a majority of thunderous checks occur), but the current system in place strikes more of a balance to accommodate player safety, and maintain optimal sightlines for fans in the first few rows. The new system includes a curved “turnbuckle” beside the players bench, first introduced by the Vancouver Canucks seven years ago and later mandated for every NHL venue. It’s now standard across the WHL starting this season.

    2. Dipping the toe in the water: Thursday introduced four games on the Silvertips training camp schedule, continuing Friday until a “scrimmage champion” is crowned by late Saturday afternoon in the Volunteer Cup. Team Blue rocketed out to a 5-0 victory in the early game, and the Red squad edge Team Grey, 4-2 by the end of the early afternoon game (of note: Dawson Butt, Riley Sutter, Jameson Murray, and Jake Christiansen each scored of the returning players), with promising 16-year old defenseman Dylan Anderson bagging a goal along with brother Carter. It’s premature to make conclusions on any prospect through Day 1, but the always insightful Nick Patterson offers a more concentrated look from The Herald.

(Of note, among the new faces – but with a familiar name – is overage defenseman Sahvan Khaira. Built like a tank at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, and not too far off from brother Jujhar, Sahvan was on the other side only 3 months ago with Swift Current, battling the Silvertips for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. I asked Sahvan tongue in cheek, “but let’s be real, it isn’t that funny, is it?” He returned the reply with a slight grin, “no, no not at all.” The Khaira only live hours away in B.C., which means possibly more of their warm visits soon.)

3. Chat of the day: Riley Sutter, three months removed from WHL Championship Series experience and two months removed from the draft as a new Washington Capitals prospect. He entered last season fresh off a summer of rigid skating drills, and went right back to the well again this past offseason. His summer was a “whirlwind.” More below.

4. Guest coaches: A chance to give additional hockey minds of Silvertips hockey operations a chance to lead the way behind the bench, several Silvertips scouts and even a pair of NHL alumni are gracing the bench. Brendan Morrison, among many teams a famous Vancouver Canucks alumnus (remember the Naslund/Bertuzzi years?), is behind the bench for Team Red, while Pacific Northwest native Turner Stevenson (a Stanley Cup winner with New Jersey in 2003) is behind the bench for Team Blue and also smoothly runs the Silvertips Elite and U16 programs during the winter months. Amazingly, their careers overlapped and both involved the Devils, but they were never teammates.

5. Arena information: As a reminder, all scrimmages, including Saturday’s Rookie Game and Sunday’s Green vs. Grey Game are free. Doors will open 15 minutes before each scrimmage, and 45 minutes before the Rookie Game and the Sunday 1:30pm finale. A.O.T.W. Arena will offer Team Store accessibility for those in attendance looking for a shopping trip, while general admission seating is available in the lower bowl behind the team benches.

As I maneuver around from spot to spot, I hope to bump into you.

Award winning broadcaster Mike Benton is in his fourth season as radio play-by-play voice of the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, and 14th in the game.  Tweet at him here.