Caden Zaplitny has signed a standard player agreement with the Everett Silvertips for the 2021-22 season.
The East St. Paul standout has put together an impressive start to his MJHL career, scoring six goals, including one OT winner, and tallying eight assists through 24 games this season.
Those totals place Zaplitny in a tie for fifth in scoring on the Blues, and fourth among players born in 2004 or later in the MJHL. The left-shot forward is tied for second in the MJHL with three game-winning goals, one back of his captain, Brayden Foreman.
“I love the coaching staff, I love the guys – I think [Winnipeg’s] really helped me evolve my game and learn to play at the junior level,” said Zaplitny.
The 6’ 0, 180-pound forward has been one of the most consistent players on the Blues, contributing in both ends of the ice while gradually gaining more responsibility from the coaching staff throughout the year.
“Our program wants to have success on the ice as a team and also with developing players for the next level, so it was very exiting hearing that Caden signed with Everett,” said Winnipeg Blues head coach Taras McEwen.
Originally a 3rd round pick (30th overall) by the Waywayseecappo Wolverines back in the 2019 MJHL Draft, the Blues traded the MJHL rights to one of their top scorers from 2019-20, Mitchell Joss, to bring Zaplitny to the Manitoba capital this offseason. The Blues were willing to pay the price for the player and the person.
“He comes to the rink every day willing to learn and really took off after 10 games in the league,” McEwen said. “He’s a hard-working person on and off the ice.”
Zaplitny could start his time with the Silvertips soon. Everett is expected to have some players heading to the 2022 World Juniors in Edmonton and Red Deer. If not this year, Zaplitny plans on working to make sure he’s a full-time WHL player next season.
“Right now, I’m working on improving my shot, getting stronger, faster so I can compete with the stronger guys,” Zaplitny said.
Whatever way it works out for him, Zaplitny said he’s excited to be a part of Everett’s future.
“It’s obviously a big step forward in my hockey career and I’m very happy about it.”