Three Silvertips Selected at the 2020 NHL Draft
EVERETT, WA - The Everett Silvertips, proud seven-time U.S. Division champion and two time Western Conference champion of the Western Hockey League, announced today that center Gage Goncalves (GOHN-sall-vez) has been selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round (62nd overall), defenseman Kasper Puutio (POOH-tee-oh) has been selected by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round (153rd overall), and defenseman Ronan Seeley has been selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the seventh round (208th overall) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
"Gage is a model human being for perseverance and work ethic, rightfully earning this moment as an NHL Draft pick," said Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson. "Going from a one-goal to 33-goal season doesn't happen on accident, and neither does the path he took from being a WHL listed player to legitimate Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, modeling a game which includes a quick release on his shot, intelligence, and effectiveness in all three zones of the ice. We're extremely proud of Gage and look forward to continued progress in both our organization, and the Lightning organization."
Goncalves, 19, was named Silvertips Most Improved Player this past season when he ranked third on the program in points (71), second in goals (33), third in assists (38), second in game winning goals (7), tied the lead in power play goals (14) and was +32 in 60 games. The Mission, British Columbia native experienced a 56 point and 32 goal increase from his 2018-19 rookie campaign and bagged 22 multi point games this past season including a pair of career-high four point outings.
His shootout goal against the Spokane Chiefs, on Dec. 15 received attention including a nomination on ESPN SportsCenter's Top Ten Plays, when the Silvertips defeated Spokane, 4-3 in a shootout in downtown Everett.
Earlier this summer, Goncalves was named to Hockey Canada's National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp, July 27-31. He was part of a group including over 40 players attending a five-day virtual camp, participating in program sessions focusing on player development through online education in preparation of Team Canada roster selection for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, scheduled for Edmonton and Red Deer in December.
Goncalves has 34 points, 52 assists, 86 points, and a +42 rating in 128 career games in a Silvertips jersey. The 6-foot-1, 170 pound forward was originally acquired by the Silvertips as a listed player and signed a WHL standard player agreement on Jan. 3, 2018, making his Silvertips and WHL debut four days later against the Victoria Royals.
PUUTIO TO THE PANTHERS
"The Everett Silvertips congratulate Kasper Puutio on being selected by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round of the NHL Entry Draft," said Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson. "Though we only acquired him several weeks before the sport's pause in March, it took minimal time for his presence to make an impact and elevate our opportunities for the top record in the WHL. He's a solid, two-way, all situations defenseman who has an incredible chance to refine a gifted skill set and late-game poise with the Panthers organization in the future. We're fully championing his time in Finland to stay fresh and look forward to his contributions when the time is right to return to play in the WHL."
The first overall selection in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, Puutio skated in the CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game in 2019-20 and registered 28 points (5g-23a) in 56 games with the Silvertips and Swift Current Broncos, his rookie WHL season. He earned 12 points in his first 21 games as a Silvertip after being acquired from Swift Current on Jan. 10 with forward Ethan Regnier in exchange for forward Martin Fasko-Rudas, defenseman Parker Hendren, and two WHL Draft selections.
The native of Vaasa, Finland finished +13 in his final 21 games of the season as a Silvertip, drilled a pair of power play goals, and scored full-length of the ice, empty net goal against the Prince George Cougars in a Feb. 21 victory. Puutio had points in six of the last eight games on the blueline, and after Feb. 15 earned 11 points in 12 games. Twice, he had a career high three points in one game, all on assists.
Puutio is currently on loan to Karpat (Liiga) in Finland and before last season had three assists in three games with Finland's U18 squat at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
The 6-foot, 185-pound defenseman was one of three Silvertips selected in the 2020 NHL Draft: forward Gage Goncalves (Tampa Bay Lightning) in the second round and defenseman Ronan Seeley (Carolina Hurricanes) in the seventh round. Eight Silvertips have been selected in the draft over the last three years.
RONAN SEELEY TO THE CANES
"The Silvertips congratulate Ronan Seeley on his selection by the Carolina Hurricanes in the seventh round of the NHL Entry Draft," said Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson. "He's worked very hard to elevate his game from the blueline as a dependable puck moving defenseman and earned opportunities to contribute with consistency and poise. He's only begun to scratch the surface with how great he can be. As he continues to embrace that identity, it will be an extremely valuable asset for our team and with the Hurricanes organization in the future."
Seeley, 18, enjoyed an increase of 23 points, 21 assists, and a +11 for his rating in 2019-20, his second WHL season when he collected 32 points (3g-29a) in 63 games with a +22 rating. The Olds, Alberta native buried a game winning goal and had four assists on Nov. 22 in a 6-1 Silvertips rout of the Saskatoon Blades.
He generated seven multi point games and had eight points in a seven game stretch, ending Nov. 30 en route to receiving co-recipient honors of the Silvertips Iron Man award (most games played) with captain and Anaheim Ducks prospect Bryce Kindopp.
The 6-foot, 175-pound defenseman has skated in 115 career WHL games, all in a Silvertips jersey, with 41 points, a +33 rating, and ten penalty minutes. He was also selected by Hockey Canada to participate in the national under-17 development camp at the program's 2018 Summer Showcase and was selected by the Silvertips in the first round (20th overall) in the 2017 WHL Draft.
Seeley was one of three Silvertips selected in the 2020 NHL Draft, joining forward Gage Goncalves (Tampa Bay Lightning) in the second round and defenseman Kasper Puutio (Florida Panthers) in the fifth round. Eight Silvertips have been selected in the draft over the last three years.
ABOUT THE SILVERTIPS AND THE NHL
A total of 19 players have suited up in an Everett Silvertips jersey and advanced to play in the National Hockey League, since the Silvertips joined the WHL in 2003-04. Entering this season, the Silvertips have elevated 24 players to be selected by teams in the NHL Entry Draft, including five over the previous two seasons. By the end of the 2019-20 season, all three Silvertips in the 20-year old category earned NHL entry level contracts: Bryce Kindopp (Anaheim), Wyatte Wylie (Philadelphia), and Jake Christiansen (Columbus).
The Seattle Kraken, an expansion franchise scheduled to play 30 miles away from Everett at Climate Pledge Arena, will make their NHL debut in the 2021-22 season.
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Western Hockey League Stories from October 8, 2020
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