Ty Mappin became further tied to the Everett Silvertips last Thursday when the Western Hockey League team signed their prized prospect from Big Valley.
As he wrapped up a standout performance at his first WHL training camp, Mappin and fellow 15-year-old Dawson Leedahl of Saskatoon agreed to WHL educational contracts with the Silvertips.
With cameras flashing, the team’s top two picks from this year’s WHL bantam draft formally joined the Everett organization.
“It was different than what I’ve seen before,” said Mappin, the seventh overall selection last May.
“It was cool, getting to sign those papers and getting a contract.”
Mappin and Leedahl made a long-term commitment to play major junior — when they become of age next season — instead of U.S. college hockey.
“Yeah, it’s official,” Mappin said. “It was that way all the way for me.”
He believes the WHL is “pretty competitive” and a proven stepping-stone to pro hockey.
Mappin and Leedahl returned home Sunday after an extended stay in Everett, Wash. The pair of 1996-born prospects continued to skate with the Silvertips after the main training camp, though the organization opted not to dress 15-year-olds in its pre-season tournament games on the weekend.
Mappin had already made his mark, leading the team in scoring during camp, with six goals and eight points in five games.
“They said I played pretty good and they can see why they took me (so high),” Mappin said of his exit meeting with the Silvertips.
“It was nice to lead the team in points. I think training has done a lot for me. Coming into camp in shape was really beneficial.”
Mappin, a five-foot-11, 157-pound centre, moved to a new school this week as he began Grade 10 classes Tuesday at Hunting Hills in Red Deer. He’ll be based in Red Deer this winter to play midget AAA with the Optimist Rebels.
Mappin plans to join the midget AAA Rebels camp today. That team is the alma mater of his brother Cass, who went on to play four seasons in the WHL.
Ty Mappin isn’t eligible to play in the WHL fulltime this season, but he’s hoping the Silvertips call him up for his allowable five games.
“I guess they come to Alberta (in late October and early November) for an Alberta run, so hopefully I can play then,” he said.
Everett’s five-game Alberta swing includes an Oct. 28 date with the Red Deer Rebels at the Centrium.
“It would be crazy,” Mappin said about the possibility of facing the Rebels.
During training camp, Mappin stayed at the same billet home as Silvertips captain Ryan Murray — a defenceman considered a first-round prospect for the 2012 NHL draft — and goaltending prospect Andy Desautels. Murray and Desautels are from White City, Sask., near Regina.
“I got to know both those guys pretty good,” Mappin said. “Murray and I are with the same agency, so knowing him from before, he helped me blend in with the guys and get comfortable with them.”