Silvertips co-captain Roest flourishing in Everett
With 19 goals in 28 games this season, Everett Silvertips co-captain Austin Roest has shown why he was selected by the Nashville Predators in the 2023 NHL Draft.
Roest, who scored 32 times a year ago, has helped the Silvertips to a 17-11-2 record and to the third best record in the WHL’s Western Conference as the season approaches the halfway mark.
“It’s been really good especially as of late,” Roest said of how his side have played. “I think we’ve found our way. The start of the season was a bit of a tough go but we all knew we were capable of how we could play and it’s [starting to] show.”
A year ago, the Silvertips finished a game over .500 but fell in five games to Portland. This year, they return the majority of the same squad; the club lost leading scorer Jackson Berezowski to the ECHL but head coach and general manager Dennis Williams made some offensive additions in Teague Patton from Victoria alongside Finnish CHL Import Draft pick Julius Miettinen while 2006-born centre Carter Bear, as well as Dominik Rymon, have made significant steps forward in 2023-24.
“It’s [been] a really good start for our team and hopefully we can keep it going,” Roest said.
Roest’s 19 goals lead the club, as do his five power play goals, while he is on pace for 76 points, two shy of his career high from last season. The 19-year-old has also fared well in the faceoff circle with a 54.6 winning percentage, the best among Silvertips skaters.
“When I’m on my game I’m moving pucks, not trying to do too much with it, getting to open areas and taking pucks to the net and hopefully burying a couple of goals as well,” he said.
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) November 29, 2023
There’s also no denying there has been extra motivation for Coldstream, B.C. native over the past 18 months. Roest was passed over in the 2022 NHL Draft and entered the 2023 campaign with a point to prove. On the heels of a 32-goal, 78-point season, the Predators selected Roest with the 175th overall pick.
“That was probably the proudest I’ve been in my life especially since I was passed over the year before,” he recalled. “To say I got drafted by a great organization like Nashville after all the work I put in, it was a really cool feeling.
“I had my mum and sister with me and a few of my buddies as well watching on TV. My agent gave me a call about 20 seconds before I was picked and said ‘congratulations’ and told me I was going to Nashville and then to see my name pop up on the TV was a crazy feeling and I can’t really describe it with words.”
Ahead of his fourth season in Everett, Roest experienced another momentous moment as he was named Silvertips co-captain alongside Ben Hemmerling (VGK).
The pair, who are best friends, have spent their entire junior careers together in Everett and have amassed 292 points (109 goals) between them over parts of four seasons.
“It was a huge honour,” Roest recalled. “As a young hockey player you always want to be the captain of a team so to be a guy that the team looks up to and to able to lead this team, it’s a really cool feeling.
[Ben and I have been] together since we were 16 so we’ve been through it all. I couldn’t ask for a better guy to go on this journey with.”