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Excelling in Everett

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL - A 3-2 loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds in Game 5 recently eliminated the Everett Silvertips from the WHL’s Western Conference semifinals, which unfortunately means that the post-season has come to an end for Habs blue-line prospect Noah Juulsen.

Juulsen first pulled on the Canadiens jersey at the 2015 Entry Draft in Sunrise, Florida, when general manager Marc Bergevin plucked the Silvertips 19-year-old rearguard out of the stands at the BB&T with the 26th overall pick. With the selection, Bergevin and his draft-day team added a valuable right-handed shooting weapon to their arsenal.

Since that memorable day in sunny Florida, the Canadiens have watched their prized first-rounder develop from a blue-chip prospect into a physically imposing two-way defenseman.

The Canadiens therefore rewarded Juulsen with an entry-level contract after the youngster caught management’s attention at development camp in Brossard back in July.

After amassing 28 points in 63 games while helping Everett to a 5th place finish in the WHL’s Western Conference, the Abbostford, British Columbia native would then lead the Silvertips into the highly competitive WHL playoffs.

Everything seemed to be rolling for Everett, as a sweep of the Portland Winterhawks in the first round of the WHL playoffs set up a second round matchup against the Seattle Thunderbirds. However, that’s when things took an unexpected turn. In Game 2 on April 10, Juulsen was dangerously struck in the face by a puck and in the blink of an eye his availability for the rest of the series was suddenly in jeopardy.

Without their rock on defense, the Silvertips suffered a 5-0 blowout loss to the Thunderbirds in Game 3. Evidently, with the physical defenseman on the sidelines, a void was left on the Silvertips blue-line, as two consecutive losses in Games 3 and 4 would seal Everett's fate.

Juulsen’s WHL season might be over, but there was still a season’s worth of positives to reflect on. For example, the former 22nd ranked North American skater by Central Scouting was called upon to represent the WHL All-Stars in the Subway Series against Russia back in November 2015. Furthermore, the Habs prospect’s defensively sound season combined with a crop of seven goals and 21 assists earned him a coveted spot on the WHL’s Second All-Star team.

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