EVERETT – The Everett Silvertips today announced the tenth captain in franchise history as well as the three players who will serve as alternates for the 2013-14 WHL season. Wearing the “C” for his final junior season will be overage defenseman Matt Pufahl, who takes over the role held for the past two seasons by Ryan Murray (now with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets). Fellow 20-year-olds Manraj Hayer and Josh Winquist will be joined by forward Kohl Bauml as the club’s alternate captains.
The announcement caps off a week of recognition for Pufahl, 20, who was also named Denny’s WHL Player of the Week on Monday. After being acquired from the Saskatoon Blades in an offseason trade, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native has made an immediate impact with the Silvertips both on the ice and in the locker room. Pufahl is currently tied for third among WHL defensemen with five goals and eighth with ten points so far this season. He is coming off a career year during which he posted 43 points (6g/37a) as a 19-year-old and appeared in the 2013 Memorial Cup with the Blades.
Hayer, 20, is the only returning member of the team’s captaincy after wearing an “A” last season as well. Now in his fourth season with the Silvertips, the Vancouver, British Columbia product currently has five points (3g/2a) in nine regular season games following a pre-season during which he led all WHL scorers. Hayer has 65 points (26g/39a) in 149 career WHL appearances, all of which have come with the ‘Tips.
Winquist, 20, is in his fifth season with the Silvertips, making him the longest tenured player on the team. Currently Everett’s leading scorer with 12 points (7g/5a) this season, Winquist is looking to top last year’s team-best campaign of 51 points (24g/27a) in 51 games. Hailing from St. Albert, Alberta, he currently stands just one point behind Peter Mueller for sixth on the Silvertips’ all-time scoring list with 135 points (61g/74a) in 243 career games in green and silver.
Bauml, who turns 19 next month, is now in his third WHL season with the Silvertips. He was Everett’s Rookie of the Year as a 17-year-old in 2011-12 before scoring a career-best 21 goals and totaling 36 points a season ago. Originally from Saskatoon, Bauml has 78 career points (37g/41a) in 145 games during his time in Everett.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)