Friday marked the final home game for the Everett Silvertips for the 2017-2018 season and for three longtime players, it was the last game they’ll ever play in Everett. These guys have been staples of the Silvertips ever since they were selected in the 2012 bantam draft.
“To gather what they’ve done in 5 years is pretty amazing,” says Silvertips play-by-play announcer Mike Benton. “They were able to break into this league and play a consistent amount of games at 16 years of age, and then find a consistent spot in the lineup throughout their entire career all the way to 20 years of age really says how durable they’ve been, how dedicated they’ve been and how well they’ve fit into the plans here for this team. They haven’t just hung around, they’ve thrived.”
Now, as the fans say goodbye, it’s time to look at just how special these players have been for the franchise.
With the 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Everett Silvertips select…
Kevin Davis, Defense, Kamloops BC
Nobody has ever played as many games in a Silvertips sweater as Kevin Davis. Over five full seasons (plus six games in 2012-2013), Davis played in 347 games. He played in at least 64 games in every season since 2013.
“To put into context with Kevin Davis,” says Benton, “to continuously get a chance to produce and not miss as many games as countless numbers of his peers have done for his entire career, really says a lot with his ability to stay in the lineup and produce at a high level. And for players who can do that, they come with a high degree of value.”
He leaves the organization as the all time leader amongst defenceman in points and assists, while ranking second in goals. In fact, his assist total puts him third all time among all skaters, trailing only Zach Hamill, and another of his fellow 2012 bantam draftees, who we will talk about later. In 2016 Davis took a big leap forward in his offense when he lead the team with 50 assists. He has been a key component on the blue line for the last five years, and won’t be easily replaced.
With the 66th overall pick, the Everett Silvertips select…
Matt Fonteyne, Forward, Wetaskiwin AB
Fonteyne has played in 340 games as a Silvertip, good for third most in the franchise. He ranks in the top 5 all time in both assists and points in team history. In 2016 he became an alternate captain, and in 2017, after the departure of Noah Juulsen, he was named captain. In his five years with the club he has won the award for the Silvertips Scholastic Player of the Year, the Most Improved Player, the Unsung Hero Award, and twice won the Community Relations Award.
“Matt Fonteyne has led the way with his demeanor. It’s no surprise that he was given a letter on his jersey here for this season. He’s also gone out of his way to make himself available for the entire public in Snohomish county. He’s a real stand-up guy. I think for a player like him to put in the hard work that he’s done for five years really speaks volumes on how much of an impact that he has made for this team and for this entire region.”
Fonteyne has made an impression on countless families in the area, my own included. Last season, I was able to take my then 2-year-old son to the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett for a day to play some floor hockey with the Silvertips. There were maybe a dozen or so players in attendance, in a small room filled with short hockey sticks and foam pucks. Fonteyne really stood out to me back then as the guy that really wanted to be there. He was the one that made a point to engage with the kids, with the fans, and to give them some great memories to take home.
Playing hockey with a couple of the Everett Silvertips!Posted by Jamie Morse on Tuesday, January 10, 2017
With the 128th overall pick, the Everett Silvertips select…
Patrick Bajkov, Forward, Nanaimo BC
Bajkov will be the name that all future Silvertips look up to in the record books for the time being. He finishes his WHL career as the franchise leader in goals, assists, and points, breaking the record set by Zach Hamill a decade ago. He led the team in points last season with 78, and again this year, when he became the first player in team history to break the 100-point barrier.
“It’s something I’ll carry a lot of pride in for a long time,” says Bajkov. “Looking at the great players that have come through this organization, it’s something pretty special and I can’t thank my coaches here and teammates and obviously my family and everyone involved with the Everett Silvertips organization enough.”
This most recent season even gave him enough recognition to sign a pro contract with the NHL’s Florida Panthers. His five years in Everett are not likely to be matched any time soon.
Watching a guy play for five seasons in the WHL doesn’t happen all the time, and even less so all with the same team. The fact that Everett fans got to watch these three play together for five straight seasons is incredible, and should not be taken for granted. Looking up career statistics for this team inevitably leads you to one or two or all three of these guys. It’s only fitting that their final home game came in the WHL Finals, and ended with a win.
Congratulations, and good luck at the next level. Everett won’t soon forget you.