Mission’s Bronson Sharp has exchanged Portland Winterhawks red for Everett Silvertips green, and he’s enjoying the view on top of the Western Hockey League’s U.S. division with the first-place Tips.
The Mission Minor Hockey Association product was dealt from Portland to Everett in January, and made his first trip back to the Lower Mainland with his new club on Feb. 23.
Sharp and the Silvertips defeated the Vancouver Giants 2-1 in that game, with Sharp recording one shot on goal. He said it has been a smooth transition to Everett.
“I was a little bit nervous moving from Portland to Everett because it’s such a big rivalry, but it’s been awesome here,” he said following the win.
The Mission native was dealt to Everett for a fifth-round draft pick, and said he hopes to bring energy and physical play to his new team.
The 19-year-old forward recorded a pair of goals and three assists with 44 penalty minutes in 84 career games with the Winterhawks.
This year, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound forward compiled a pair of goals and an assist with 21 penalty minutes split between Portland and Everett in 47 games.
He was originally a listed forward with the Winterhawks and, prior to his WHL debut, was second in scoring with Yale Hockey Academy Prep (CSSHL), racking up 37 points (16g-21) in 22 games for the 2015-16 season.
But it was those formative years with the MMHA that helped form Sharp into the player he has become.
He was a part of the Mission Stars bantam squad, which hosted the provincial Tier 2 championships and finished fourth in the province.
Sharp also brought a banner to the Mission Leisure Centre as an atom player.
He then moved on to Abbotsford’s W.A. Fraser Middle School hockey academy for Grade 8, and then moved onto Yale.
“I ended up going to Fraser and decided to move on to Yale because my brothers both went there,” he said.
“I decided to go there instead of major midget because I really liked the coach Brad Bowen. He was tough on me but it helped me out a lot.”
Sharp spent two years at Yale, scoring 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15 and 37 in 2015-16. He said his time at Yale was beneficial to his development.
“Just getting on the ice every day and not having to worry about getting in your ice time helped me a lot,” he said.
He said he also still keeps in touch with former MMHA, Fraser Middle and Yale teammate Baily Dhaliwal, who has suited up for the Vancouver Giants in 47 games over the past three seasons.
The Mission native has battled injuries through his time in the WHL, and Sharp said he hopes he can heal up.
“I send him a text every now and then to see how he’s doing,” he said. “We keep in touch. He’s had a bit of a rough go with shoulder injuries the last few years.”
Sharp and the Tips returned to the Langley Events Centre on Sunday and picked up a 6-1 win.
Everett now has a record of 44 wins, 18 losses, two overtime losses and three shootout losses, and they are on their way to clinching first in the U.S. division.
He said he likes his team’s chances in the postseason, which kick off later this month.
“I’m confident in what we can do here,” he said. “I think we have a group that can go all the way.”
Everett wraps up the WHL season on March 17 against the Victoria Royals, and the playoffs open on March 23.