WICHITA, Kan. – The Wichita Thunder have added a player to the 2019-20 lineup that’s a scoring threat and who has championship-winning experience.
Tuesday, the team announced they have signed Chris Crane to a contract for the upcoming season.
“Chris brings a lot to our locker room that I’m excited about,” stated Head Coach Bruce Ramsay. “He won two titles with Allen and was a big part of Toledo’s run to the Finals last year. He knows what it takes to be successful and adds a level of leadership that every team needs. Chris will really help our younger players and I’m excited to have a player with his qualities joining us for the upcoming season.”
Crane joins the Thunder after a 2018-19 season that saw him start out with his hometown Norfolk Admirals, then join the Toledo Walleye and helped them reach the Kelly Cup Finals this past season. He registered three points (2g, 1a) in five regular-season games after being acquired at the trade deadline from Norfolk. During the postseason, he tallied 10 points (3g, 7a) in 21 playoff games. Crane recorded 25 points (15g, 10a) in 34 games for the Admirals.
For his career, the native of West Chester Township, Ohio, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound forward has played over 300 games in the ECHL and American Hockey League. He turned pro in 2012-13 after completing a three-year collegiate career at Ohio State University and appeared in eight games with the AHL’s Worcester Sharks. The former Buckeye was taken with the 200th pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks.
Overall, he’s collected 181 points (92g, 89a) in 279 ECHL games with the San Francisco Bulls, Ontario Reign, Missouri Mavericks, Allen Americans, Orlando Solar Bears, Norfolk Admirals and Toledo Walleye. He helped lead the Allen Americans to back-to-back Kelly Cups in 2015 and 2016.
Crane joins Mitch Gillam, Lane Bauer, Stefan Fournier, Spencer Dorowicz, and Fabrizio Ricci as those with pro experience on the current Thunder roster for 2019-20. A full article breaking down the roster-to-date will come out in the next few days.
You can follow Matthew Harding and Matthew Will on Twitter (@SinBinThunder) and stay caught up on all the signings across the ECHL by visiting our transactions page.