Tips’ Goncalves taken by Lightning in 2nd round of NHL draft

Gage Goncalves is the poster little one for persistence.

The Everett Silvertips heart went unselected in the WHL bantam draft adhering to his 14-yr-outdated season. When he was 16 he was nonetheless not on a WHL guarded record. In his first 12 months of eligibility for the NHL draft his name was under no circumstances in consideration, because he’d just played a time in which he scored one objective.

Nevertheless despite all that, he now finds himself signing up for the Stanley Cup champions.

Goncalves’ meteoric rise in the hockey world arrived at one more benchmark Wednesday when he was chosen by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the next spherical of the NHL draft.

“I assume it truly exhibits my work ethic and my character,” Goncalves explained Wednesday from his property in Mission, B.C., all through a Zoom call with media. “I’ve by no means seriously been a dude to keep my head down or pout or anything like that. These previous couple several years the NHL clearly has been my purpose, it’s the motive why I went to the WHL, and I just retained plugging absent, held executing what I wanted to do to get to the up coming level and to be competing with the leading gamers, and it’s worked out so much.”

Goncalves was a person of a few Silvertips chosen Wednesday, when rounds two by way of 7 have been conducted. Defenseman Kasper Puutio was picked in the fifth round by the Florida Panthers and defenseman Ronan Seeley was picked in the seventh spherical by the Carolina Hurricanes. Everett’s other draft hopeful, center Michal Intestine, went unselected.

Goncalves, a 19-year-previous indigenous of Mission, B.C., was taken 62nd in general, which was the past variety of the next spherical. He was ranked by NHL Central Scouting as the 80th-best North American skater for the draft, so he was picked significantly earlier than projected.

Goncalves, a lanky playmaker who steps 6-foot and 165 pounds, was unexpectedly conscripted into 1st-line centering obligations by Everett past year — the previous time he scored only just one objective in 67 video games though taking part in mostly as a fourth-line winger. But Goncalves, passed in excess of in his very first year of NHL draft eligibility, done superior than any person could have imagined, tallying 33 aims and 38 helps in 60 game titles while centering Bryce Kindopp and Cole Fonstad. He was the third-foremost scorer on an Everett staff that was one of the favorites for the WHL championship before the year was shut down simply because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He joins a Tampa Bay franchise that claimed its second at any time Stanley Cup championship very last 7 days, beating the Dallas Stars in 6 game titles for the title.

“We experienced some great talks, some seriously very good connections with the calls I experienced (with the Lightning),” Goncalves said. “I didn’t truly have them circled, I did not definitely have anybody circled. What I was explained to is they had been buying late in the second spherical and which is where they kind of experienced me heading. I’m just very fortunate to go to such a large place — they acquired the Stanley Cup, congrats to them — and I’m just delighted to be a component of the Lightning.”

Everett’s other two options had been smallish, smooth-skating defensemen who were in their initial year of NHL draft eligibility.

Puutio, an 18-year-aged from Finland, was chosen 153rd in general by the Panthers. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder, who was the first-overall choice in the 2019 CHL import draft, was obtained from Swift Recent at the January trade deadline. He had 4 ambitions and 8 assists in 21 video games with the Suggestions. NHL Central Scouting had Puutio rated 76th among North American skaters.

Seeley, an 18-year-previous from Olds, Alberta, was taken 208th in general by the Hurricanes. The 6-foot, 175-pounder was Everett’s 1st-round decide in the 2017 bantam draft. Previous period he registered 3 plans and 29 assists with the Strategies.

Seeley finished up becoming taken afterwards than projected. He was Everett’s maximum-rated participant by NHL Central Scouting, rated 75th amid North American skaters.

Having three players chosen matches the next-most players Everett’s had taken in a one draft. The most was four in 2006. The Recommendations had three gamers selected in 2007, 2010 and 2018.

The groups that drafted Everett’s players Wednesday retain their legal rights for two several years ahead of they have to be signed, so the three draftees are all envisioned to be back with the Suggestions when the 2020-21 time begins. The year is currently scheduled to start off on Dec. 4, dependent upon the state of the coronavirus pandemic.