By Silvertips staff
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
– Author unknown
Potential, pride, and poise … all matching the description of Everett Silvertips defenseman Wyatte Wylie.
In a draft eligible year, there could be another “P” word that players may get hung up on …
Wylie is already in a situation to thrive, but doesn’t need to be perfect.
Heading into only his second season, and finally draft eligible (Nov. 2), he represents a core of young Silvertips who sprouted wings swiftly en route to a division title last year. They come back more experience, bigger, stronger, and potentially better.
Even more, Wylie’s history carries significant pride in the Pacific Northwest, as a graduate of the Everett Youth Hockey program and a resident of the outer reaches of Everett.
Standing tall at over six feet and nearly 200 pounds, he’s only turning 18. With room to fill out, and years to round out his skill set, he nearly played in every game last season for his maiden voyage. He also did it on the left side of a defenseman role, something incredibly challenging when laced with a right handed shot and handed the role of adapting to the modern game’s demands of handling forwards with speed, or continuously flowing pucks in non-natural spot on the ice.
Consider his first career WHL point: a home run pass through the gut of the ice, springing Patrick Bajkov for a breakaway goal in Portland on Sept. 30.
The potential for Wylie to develop on the NHL Entry Draft radar and become a larger threat on the Tips blueline is realistic, but asking for small and incremental steps on the road to that progress.
His chief instructor, Tips assistant coach Mitch Love (also in charge of the Tips blueliners), provided an update with Wylie’s progress.
RE: What did you appreciate about Wyatte’s game in his first season?
MITCH LOVE: Wyatte’s a pretty remarkable story. He’s a breaking of the mold which is a great story and represents the evolution of Everett Youth Hockey in the last four to five years. But as far as where he started as a young 17-year-old to finishing in the playoffs, I’ve been very impressed with him.
What I’ve been impressed with is the head on his shoulders. He was real honest at the beginning of the year with his track record and how he’s handled coaching. He was all ears to criticism and how to fix things. I think it really helped his game. He didn’t dwell on situations that went wrong. He learned on the fly and it was a big in helping him improve throughout the year.
RE: He’ll be heading into a draft eligible year. His biggest challenge next season: more physical or mental?
LOVE: I’d say mental. We talked about Jake Christiansen a little bit earlier, and these kids hear and talk to family advisors, agents, and more. The biggest thing I’ve noticed in my years of coaching is when you’re a player and get too wrapped up in what happens in June, you’re not going to be around (for the draft) in June. (The objective) is the ability to come to the rink and focus on the “what are my goals down the road” mindset and small, lofty goals throughout the season – things guys can focus on in a draft eligible season.
As far as the physical side of it, Wyatte’s a strong kid. He’s 190 pounds and can skate pretty well. One big thing for him is learning to get pucks to the net more, offensively. He was at a bit of a disadvantage last year playing the left side with a right-handed shot. It’s not an easy thing in today’s game with the way it’s played with speed. But that’s also a feather in his cap, his trustworthy ability to be able to play that off-side because he was able to get around on his edges pretty well.