The Kootenay ICE have a new overage netminder in the fold.
Matt Cockell, president and general manager of the ICE, executed his first trade since taking over the reins of the club, sending a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft to the Everett Silvertips in exchange for 1997-born goaltender Mario Petit Thursday morning.
“Mario is an experienced goaltender and someone we expect to raise the level of competition within our group,” Cockell said. “We value his character, strong work ethic and I know he is looking forward to the opportunity with the ICE.”
Petit, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound product of Ile-des-Chenes, Man., fills the overage void left in the Kootenay crease when Cranbrook product Payton Lee graduated from the WHL at the conclusion of the 2016-17 campaign.
The veteran goaltender spent the previous two seasons with the Silvertips.
“Making a move to find a home for an individual like Mario is necessary for our roster situation, but can be difficult to face at the same time,” said Garry Davidson, general manager of the Silvertips. “He made strides in his game and carried a great attitude. Mario will always be a part of our family, and we wish him nothing but the best as he prepares for his overage season.”
Over 37 appearances with Everett, Petit went 14-8-7-1 with a 2.89 goals-against average and .892 save percentage.
Petit, who turns 20 on July 25, joins Jakob Walter as the two returning goaltenders in the Kootenay crease. Meanwhile, the Silvertips are left with Carter Hart – who has signed an entry-level contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers – along with 1999-born Dorrin Luding and 2001-born Dustin Wolf.
The ICE have rolled with overage goaltenders the past two seasons, with Wyatt Hoflin tending the crease prior to Lee taking over in 2016-17.
On the overage front, the moving of Petit removes one 1997-born player from Everett’s crew, which also includes defencemen Noah Juulsen, Kevin Davis and Mackenzie Dwyer, along with forwards Matt Fonteyne, Patrick Bajkov, Devon Skoleski, Cal Babych and Keith Anderson.
The ICE carry a handful of eligible overage players as well, including defencemen Troy Murray and Kurtis Rutledge, was well as forwards Austin Wellsby, Colton Kroeker and Shane Allan.
WHL clubs are permitted to carry a maximum of three 20-year-old players on their roster.