Young players for the four Western Hockey League teams in Washington will be exempted from certain labor laws that would have restricted their practice, conditioning, playing time and made them subject to the minimum wage.
The 20-year-old Kozun had the best season of his junior hockey career by posting a .915 save percentage and 2.41 goals against average in 60 games.
The offseason is of vital importance to Seattle, a team that played 11 rookies over the course of the 2014-15 season. All are expected back for the 2015-16 campaign including goaltender Logan Flodell who will be counted on, at least in part, to replace WHL Top Goaltender finalist Taran Kozun.
Tyszka was Seattle’s first-round pick (16 overall) in the 2014 Bantam Draft. He joins a defense unit which returns Ethan Bear, Jared Hauf, Jerret Smith, Turner Ottenbreit and Sahvan Khaira for next season.
The biggest award, though, went to overage goaltender Taran Kozun. Kozun, 20, was named the team’s Most Valuable Player after a season in which he finished with a 2.41 goals against average.
Seattle completed its regular-season series with the Winterhawks with a superior 7-4-1-0 record over their bitter Interstate-5 rival. The series was really a tale of two halves with the T-Birds winning five of the first six and Portland taking four of the final six.
Roberts Lipsbergs scored both regulation goals for the Thunderbirds (34-24-4-5) before Jerret Smith netted the decisive goal in the shootout.
Wardley’s hits set the tone for the way Seattle likes to play. Because of his presence, Seattle is able to match up well with most top lines around the Western Hockey League. When Wardley is on the ice, opponents notice.
As things stand currently, Seattle will face bitter rival Portland in the first round, with the Winterhawks holding home ice thanks to an eight-point edge in the U.S. Division standings.
Seattle scored four second-period goals en route to a 7-0 skinning of the first-place Silvertips in front of 5,008 at the ShoWare Center. It was the worst shutout loss for Everett since it was beaten 8-0 by Portland January 12, 2013.