On Episode 3 of the podcast, Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald talked about the unique import situation in Everett, with three viable players competing for only two spots on the team. The Silvertips drafted two players in the import draft: Waltteri Hopponen and Ivan Nikolishin. They were allowed to do so because defenseman Mirco Mueller was taken in the first round of the NHL draft by San Jose. The rule is designed to give a CHL team some insurance in case their drafted player sticks in the NHL.
But Mueller was returned by the San Jose Sharks yesterday, leaving the Tips in a position where they had 48 hours to decide which of three to get rid of. Rules say they can’t trade Hopponen or Nikolishin, but trading a franchise player in Mueller seemed out of the question.
Today, the Tips made their decision, and decided to drop Hopponen, the 10th overall pick in the CHL import draft. Patterson has all the details on this decision, including an interesting tidbit about Hopponen being eligible to be traded in the WHL if Mueller had stuck in San Jose until the start of the NHL season. Instead, Hopponen has to go to Sioux City in the USHL because an import player in the CHL cannot be sent through the waiver system. As I understand it, Hopponen can be redrafted next year in the import draft, so he’s not Everett property anymore.
In Portland, the Winterhawks traded enforcer Joe Mahon to the Calgary Hitmen for a fourth-round bantam pick next year plus a conditional sixth-round pick. Mahon is hurt right now, so the conditional pick is probably linked to him playing a certain number of games.
The move caused quite a bit of social media drama among Portland fans, but it’s a deal that’s not particularly surprising. The Winterhawks are loaded with forwards, and they have a younger option for a tough guy in Steven Alldridge. Mahon likely wasn’t going to see the ice much when healthy, and getting a fourth-round pick is a pretty good for a 19-year-old who scored two goals in 41 games last year.
Here’s some more links from the first weekend of play:
* A busy weekend in Everett, as forward Jujhar Khaira has arrived from Edmonton Oilers camp. The 19-year-old left Michigan Tech, and since Everett owned his WHL rights, the Tips argued that Khaira had to come to Everett if he didn’t make the Oilers roster. They seem to either have won that argument, or perhaps the Oilers thought it best he go to the CHL. Either way, his addition helps make up for the loss of Hopponen.
* The Tips also sent 17-year-old Ty Mappin down to Junior A. He was a first-round bantam pick in 2011 and played a lot for the Tips last year, but he couldn’t even crack the opening night lineup and wasn’t seen as even a top-9 forward this year. Patterson has more here.
* Spokane was picked last in our media poll, but opened strong with a 6-2 win over Tri-City in Kennewick.
* Seattle looked good in a season-opening 4-3 shootout win over Portland.
* Tri-City is the only team in the division that didn’t win a game this weekend, and a 2-1 home loss to Prince George Sunday was disconcerting, given that the Cougars were playing their third road game in three nights and had given up 17 goals in the other two games.
photo: Everett Silvertips