EVERETT – The Everett Silvertips today announced the signing of four players to Western Hockey League Educational Contracts: defenseman Tristen Pfeifer, goaltender Mario Petit and forwards Nik Malenica and Gunnar Wegleitner. All four went unselected in their WHL Bantam Draft years, but remain among the 28 players (16 forwards, eight defensemen and four goaltenders) currently competing for spots on Everett’s regular season roster.
Pfeifer, 18, was placed on the Silvertips’ protected list late last season. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound blueliner has played the past two years with the Phoenix Junior Coyotes of the Tier 1 Elite League. A native of Phoenix, AZ, he scored nine goals and assisted on six others for a total of 15 points to go with 44 penalty minutes in 31 games on defense at the U18 level last season.
Petit, 17, was a free agent invitee to Silvertips training camp as a 15-year-old in 2012 before working his way onto the club’s protected list. Hailing from just outside Winnipeg in Ile des Chênes, Manitoba, the 5-foot-11, 185 pound netminder spent last season with the Eastman Selects of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League. He compiled a 14-7 record, 2.66 goals-against average and .910 saves percentage in 27 appearances last year.
Malenica, who turns 17 next month, is a 6-foot-5, 210-pound winger from Nanaimo, BC. In his second year with the North Island Silvertips of the BC Major Midget League last season, he totaled 20 points (5g/15a) and 66 penalty minutes in 39 games. Also a camp invite in 2012, he was placed on Everett’s protected list following camp in 2013.
Wegleitner, 16, was a free agent training camp invitee this year who led all players in goal scoring during camp. A native of Vancouver, BC, he spent last season with the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the BCMML, scoring seven goals and contributing five assists and 22 penalty minutes in 40 games. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound winger scored five goals in four training camp scrimmages and added another in the Green vs. Grey intrasquad game.
The WHL Scholarship encourages graduates to pursue a post-secondary education while also affording them the opportunity to continue playing hockey at an elite level in the Canadian University or College systems. For every season a player spends in the WHL, he receives a full year guaranteed Scholarship to a higher education institution. Each year over 300 WHL graduates attend a university or college on a WHL Scholarship.
The Silvertips continue their exhibition schedule with a pair of games this weekend in the 2014 Red Lion Hotels Pre-Season Tournament hosted by the Tri-City Americans. Everett faces the Seattle Thunderbirds Friday morning at 11:00 am and the Kootenay Ice Saturday morning at 11:00 am at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. The ‘Tips return to Comcast Arena for their final exhibition home game against the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday, Sep. 12.
For more information, call the team office at 425-252-5100, “like” the Everett Silvertips Hockey Club on Facebook or follow @WHLSilvertips on Twitter.