Episode 6 of the WHL Podcast checks in with the first coach in the franchise history of the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights – Prince Albert Raiders alumnus and former Spokane Chiefs and Swift Current Broncos bench boss Manny Viveiros. From there, we get up to speed with a pair of WHL Alumni who recently signed NHL entry-level contracts – former Everett Silvertips defenceman Jake Christiansen (Columbus Blue Jackets) and former Brandon Wheat Kings goaltender Logan Thompson (Vegas Golden Knights).
Hosted by Zach Hodder, the WHL Podcast offers insight into the world of hockey through stories and perspectives shared by some of the biggest and best names from across WHL history. Currently available on Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, and at WHL.ca, fans will enjoy new episodes of the WHL Podcast each Wednesday.
Manny Viveiros, Henderson Silver Knights
We open the show with the newest member of the AHL’s expansion Henderson Silver Knights – affiliate of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. On Monday, August 31, the 54-year-old Viveiros was named the first Head Coach in franchise history for the Silver Knights.
During his lone campaign behind the bench of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, Viveiros coached the U.S. Division squad to a record of 41-18-4-1. Prior to his time in Spokane, he served as an assistant coach for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers (2018-19) after having won a WHL Championship in 2018 as the Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel for the Swift Current Broncos.
Viveiros spent two seasons in Swift Current, and has a lengthy WHL career on his resume, including a four-year playing career from 1983 through 1986, in which he won a WHL Championship and a Memorial Cup as a member of the 1985 Prince Albert Raiders. He was named WHL Player of the Year for the 1985-86 season and won WHL Coach of the Year honours for his efforts in 2017-18.
Jake Christiansen, Columbus Blue Jackets
A 20-year-old product of North Vancouver, Christiansen signed an NHL entry-level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 4.
Originally selected by the Silvertips in the fifth round (105th) of the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft, the offensive-minded defenceman played five seasons in Everett, skating in 297 career regular season contests and accruing 152 points (50G-102A). Returning midseason from the AHL’s Stockton Heat, where he started the campaign on a professional tryout, Christiansen made an immediate impact and was eventually named a WHL Western Conference Second All-Star, despite only appearing in 38 regular season games.
Logan Thompson, Vegas Golden Knights
A 23-year-old product of Calgary, Thompson signed an NHL entry-level contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on July 13.
Originally selected by the Wheat Kings in the sixth round (122nd) of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, the southpaw netminder spent three seasons in the WHL and won a WHL Championship with the Wheat Kings in 2016.
In total, Thompson appeared in 122 career WHL regular season outings, going 63-41-6-4 with a 3.26 goals-against average, .905 save percentage and four shutouts. After graduating from the WHL, Thompson attended Brock University before spending the 2019-20 season with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.