Sil­ver­tips sign top ban­tam draft pick Browne

The Daily Herald - - SPORTS - By Jesse Ge­leynse Her­ald Writer

EVERETT — The Everett Sil­ver­tips wasted lit­tle time in lock­ing down their top pick from the 2016 ban­tam draft as they an­nounced Wed­nes­day they had signed Ethan Browne to a WHL stan­dard player agree­ment.

The Sher­wood Park, Al­berta, na­tive was the No. 14 over­all pick in May’s draft.

Browne had ex­pressed ex­cite­ment at be­ing se­lected and tweeted his ea­ger­ness to sign with the Tips and be­gin work­ing to­ward achiev­ing his WHL dream.

Nev­er­the­less, the or­ga­ni­za­tion took no chances as it dis­patched head coach Kevin Con­stan­tine to Al­berta to pro­cure Brown’s sig­na­ture.

“It shows a lot from the team and how much they want me,” Browne said. “As soon as they did that I thought, ‘I’m go­ing to be a part of this team.’ I’m pretty ex­cited.”

Sil­ver­tips fans can breathe a sigh of re­lief that the deal is done. The or­ga­ni­za­tion has had trou­ble get­ting some of its top prospects to com­mit in re­cent years, among them the likes of Aus­ton Matthews, Tyson Jost and Patrick Khodor­enko, all of whom chose dif­fer­ent routes.

Matthews and Jost were se­lected No. 1 and No. 10 re­spec­tively at last week­end’s NHL draft.

“(Browne) is the of­fen­sive player that we’ve needed for a while,” Tips head scout Bil La Forge told the Her­ald af­ter the draft. “He’s a true of­fen­sive ta­lent. He plays the game re­ally hard. He’s a phys­i­cal kid who isn’t afraid to en­gage a lit­tle bit. We love the fact that he can run a power play. He can be the trig­ger man or the setup guy, and he skates very well.”

Browne scored 39 goals with 38 as­sists in 36 reg­u­lar-sea­son games, and added an­other 10 goals and 13 as­sists in 10 play­off games with the Sher­wood Park Fly­ers ban­tam AAA team. He was named the team’s MVP and the AMBHL’s Out­stand­ing For­ward and Most Sports­man­like Player awards as the Fly­ers fin­ished 31-3-2 in the reg­u­lar sea­son and swept their first three play­off series.

He also earned an in­vi­ta­tion to Hockey Al­bert’s U16 camp to be held July 5-10 in Cam­rose. Browne will play for the Sher­wood Park Kings midget AAA team in the up­com­ing sea­son.

Then, he hopes, it will be on to Everett for the 2017-18 sea­son.

“I’ve been wak­ing up at 5 a.m. to go to hockey and train­ing right af­ter that so I have the rest of the day off,” Browne said. “I’m just work­ing hard so I can play as a 16-year-old.”

He has yet to visit Xfin­ity Arena or the city of Everett, but is plan­ning on mak­ing a midJuly visit to what will even­tu­ally be his new home­town.

The first chance Tips fans will have to see their top pick in ac­tion will be at train­ing camp this Au­gust.

For the lat­est Sil­ver­tips news fol­low Jesse Ge­leynse on Twit­ter @jessege­leynse.

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