Ex-Chilliwack Bruins captain Mitch McColm has taken the next step in his hockey career, inking an amateur tryout agreement with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades.
The 20-year-old will wear his familar No. 4 with the minor-pro club. The Everblades are dually affiliated with the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes.
McColm’s agent got the ball rolling when he put his client in contact with Everblades coach Malcolm Cameron and general manager Craig Brush.
“I talked with the coach and he told me about their program and I told him about me,” McColm told the Tri-City Herald. “He called me a couple of hours later and here I am.”
McColm made his ECHL debut last Friday against the South Carolina Stingrays, picking up no points and no penalty minutes.
He has had very little time to get acclimated, but he likes what he sees so far.
“I didn’t play a ton, but I was happy with how I played and I thought I did a good job,” he said. “The coaches said I played well and it’s nice to get that feedback.”
The Everblades roster includes several former Western Hockey Leaguers.
Forward Brady Calla played for the Everett Silvertips, Kamloops Blazers, Moose Jaw Warriors and Spokane Chiefs.
Benn Olson was a member of the Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds, and defenceman Greg Zanon was a member of the Tri-City Americans from 1999-2002.
Former Vancouver Giant and Prince Albert Raider A.J. Thelen was the 12th overall pick in the 2004 NHL entry draft and has played 46 games for the Everblades this season.
McColm was acquired by the Bruins last summer in exchange for a draft pick, and played 45 games for Chilliwack before being dealt at the WHL trade deadline.
He was sent to the Regina Pats in exchange for 20-year-old blueliner, Matt Delahey.