WICHITA, KS – With ECHL free agency open on Friday, the Wichita Thunder did not waste any time in announcing their first player signing of the offseason.

Returning to Wichita for his second season is forward Matt DeBlouw, who emerged as one of the team’s offensive leaders in Wichita last season.

“I’m excited to be back with Wichita next year because the core group of guys we had is something we can really build on,” commented DeBlouw. “Last year as a rookie, we had great leaders that taught me how to be a pro and I am going to build on what I was able to accomplish last season.”

DeBlouw finished with 38 points (14G, 24A,) which was tied for the team lead with Louick Marcotte. Five of DeBlouw’s 14 goals came on the special teams.

“Matt had a solid rookie season last year and really benefited from the increased role he had with all of our call-ups,” said Head Coach Malcolm Cameron. “I expect Matt to be a leader and a key to our offense this year with his size and speed. With a year under his belt, my hope is he can be counted on as a real go-to player. “

Prior to turning pro, he played four seasons at Michigan State University where he tallied 55 points (27g, 28a) in 128 games. During his freshman year, he finished with 21 points (10g, 11a) in 42 games as a true freshman. He was tied for third on the team in goals, second in points and earned honorable mention to the CCHA All-Rookie Team.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder was drafted by the Calgary Flames during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft (7th Round, #186). He was ranked #37 out of 210 North American prospects after impressing at the NHL Scouting Combine.

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