By Carmen Dittoe – Silvertips Staff Writer
Note: the Silvertips had 3 players selected in this year’s NHL Draft, second largest source among any team in the CHL.
On June 23, 2018, three Everett Silvertips players with three unique stories became three NHL Draft picks.
For the first time since 2010, the Silvertips had three members of their roster selected at the NHL Entry Draft. For Connor Dewar, Riley Sutter, and Wyatte Wylie, the highly-anticipated weekend of nerves and questions ended in hugs, tears, and childhood dreams fulfilled.
Dewar, the first of the three chosen, was pick No. 92 overall. Selected by the Minnesota Wild in the third round, the current-Silvertips forward expressed his gratitude and faith that everything happens for a reason. The Manitoba native said that after being passed over at the 2016-17 Entry Draft in his first year of eligibility, he let his expectations go.
“I wasn’t as stressed out about trying to get to the next level, so I was playing more stress free. I was able to be myself more and play more confident in games and use my skill set in what makes me the best player I can be everyday,” said Dewar.
He was sitting alone watching the draft in his basement when he received a text from his agent that read “MINNESOTA.” Confusion set in because of a delay in the live TV, but he saw that the Wild had the next pick. After his agent sent another text reading “92. Congrats,” Dewar realized what had just happened.
“I looked up and realized they must have taken me,” said Dewar. He ran up the stairs in a frenzy, tripping on the way. “I ran into the living room. I was jumping around but I couldn’t talk because I was starting to cry. I just pointed to the TV and fell to my knees and then my name came up. My mom jumped on me and started crying and then my dad ran in and we all had a big group hug.”
Dewar has clear eyes going forward, understanding that nothing is set in stone except his desire to grow.
“I’m just happy to be in the position that I am. From this point on I just wanna continue developing as a person and as a player and hopefully use the Wild organization as an asset to help me do so,” said Dewar.
After Dewar went No. 92 overall, Riley Sutter was the very next pick.
Sutter, with a family legacy to uphold, has repeatedly expressed that in light of his family’s prominence in the NHL, it’s time for him to forge his own way. With pick No. 93, the Washington Capitals led him in the first step of his own great journey.
In his post-draft press interview, he spoke on the feeling he had after being selected.
“It’s exciting,” said Sutter. “It’s pretty anxious waiting in anticipation to get drafted and it [was] a nice weight off my shoulders to hear my name called.”
The 18-year-old out of Calgary said he had good discussions with Washington at the combine in Buffalo earlier this month.
“I felt really comfortable in all the interviews with them,” Sutter told draft-day media. “[I] kinda just felt right. I didn’t feel like I was awkward, I just felt like myself.” With the pressure of his future on the line, this comfort is a testament to a quality team/player fit.
Through the nerves and excitement, Sutter had a loyal crew by his side. His parents, grandparents, his two sisters, and his billet parent joined him in the meaningful weekend.
“I had a big group here,” said Sutter, “but I’m glad they all got to experience it with me.”
Sutter will return to Everett in the fall, ready to do whatever it takes to succeed and keep his goals alive.
“My dream has started, so the hard work starts now,” said Sutter.
Wyatte Wylie was the third and final Silvertips player to be selected. In the fifth round at pick No. 127 overall, the Philadelphia Flyers potentially extended Wylie’s time as a teammate of Carter Hart (drafted by Philadelphia in 2016, round two No. 48 overall).
“It’s awesome,” Wylie expressed to draft-day media after being selected. “I can’t even believe it right now and I’m so excited.”
His excitement was mirrored and multiplied by a considerably sized crowd who came to Dallas for the weekend in his support.
“It’s the first time anything in my family has happened for anybody, so it’s exciting and I’m beyond thankful,” said Wylie. The Everett-born defenseman said he had about 30 people in the stands for him.
In the heat of the nerves and anxious waiting, the Silvertips’ hometown boy began to get more excited when he heard his two teammates get drafted back to back two rounds before him. “Both of them had great years,” Wylie said in a post-draft interview. “Hearing their names called one after the other was awesome and it got me excited. I’m just so proud of them.”
The pride among these three teammates is fluid and overflowing. Dewar also touched on how it felt to hear a teammate’s name follow his, explaining how he grew even happier when he looked up at the TV and through his tears saw Sutter in his Capitals jersey. Hundreds of stories began in Dallas last weekend, but these three hit close to home. They’ll be back in Everett next season, refined and ready to lead their team through another banner-worthy season.