The spotlight shines on the Everett Silvertips in the latest edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings as the Western Hockey League club closed out last week with a pair of road victories over division rivals in the Spokane Chiefs and Seattle Thunderbirds to climb to 26 points and first place in the U.S. Division.
Pushing the pace offensively for Everett this season is captain and longtime Silvertips forward Bryce Kindopp, who leads the way with 22 points counting 13 goals and nine assists across 17 appearances. The native of Lloydminster, Alta., has been a force throughout 2019-20 as he has already chalked up seven multi-point showings, including a four-point night against the Victoria Royals earlier this season in which he finished with two goals, two assists, and third-star honours in the 6-0 final.
Also up front is a new face in Montreal Canadiens prospect Cole Fonstad, who joined the Silvertips in mid-October after spending the past three seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders. In addition to some strong secondary scoring punch – Fonstad has notched one goal and seven assists in five games since joining the Silvertips – the product of Estevan, Sask., brings invaluable winning pedigree after helping the Raiders hoist the Ed Chynoweth Cup last spring for the first time in 35 years.
Meanwhile, another key contributor for the Silvertips is second-year centre Gage Goncalves, one of two Everett forwards alongside Czech-born import Michal Gut who were named among NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch report for November. After a modest 15-point finish as a freshman, Goncalves has already matched that total in his sophomore season as he has recorded eight goals and seven assists in 14 contests to produce at above a point-per-game pace. Gut has also impressed in his first season on North American ice in tallying 11 points in 15 games to sit seventh in scoring among WHL first years.
On the back end, the Silvertips are flanked by Philadelphia Flyers prospect Wyatte Wylie, a budding offensive rearguard who continues to expand his scoring abilities this season as he has already notched 18 points counting four goals and 14 assists through 17 contests. Two of Wylie’s tallies this season have come as part of a reconfigured power play that sees the hometown native quarterbacking a unit that also includes four forwards. The Silvertips’ revamped man advantage continues to show signs of life as it now ranks in the top half of the WHL with a 21% proficiency rating.
“I really like it and I’m happy to be there and thankful to be there,” Wylie told Joshua Horton of the Everett Daily Herald. “It’s a little different. You have to slow it down a bit and get passes to the tape and stuff like that. You just have to set it up. It’s not bad, I like it.”
The budding blue-liner is currently riding a four-game point streak that has seen him collect one goal and five assists, while he has been held off the scoresheet on just four nights this season.
Notably, no conversation about the Silvertips is complete without recognition of the team’s most valuable defender in netminder Dustin Wolf, who often proves unbeatable for the opposition as this season he owns a league-leading .936 save percentage across 14 appearances that couples with a 10-4-0-0 showing. Already with two shutouts on the season, Wolf has kept the opposition to two or fewer goals on nine occasions in 2019-20.
In all, it’s been a continuation from last season when the Calgary Flames prospect wrapped up 2018-19 counting a busy slate of 61 showings that came with an incredible 1.69 goals-against average and .936 save rate. His strong play has continued into this season as last month Wolf was recognized as the WHL Goaltender of the Month for September and October after finishing the first portion of the season with a 7-3-0-0 showing and a .945 save percentage that ranked first across the entire CHL.
Winners of three-straight U.S. Division titles, the Silvertips are once again a contender in the West led by experienced scoring, an offensive-minded blue line, and a budding talent between the pipes who regularly shuts down the opposition. That combination has led to many nights on the winning side of the scoreboard for the Silvertips this season, something the squad hopes continues as it enters a weekend schedule that counts dates with the Winnipeg ICE and the cross-state Chiefs.