WICHITA, Kan. – With the Kelly Cup still be touring the easternmost point of North America, 25 other ECHL teams are hard at work building their opening night roster with the hopes of being the next Kelly Cup Champion.
That includes the Wichita Thunder, who on Monday announced their season-ending roster for the 2018-19 season. Season-ending rosters may include up to 20 players and cannot include any players who didn’t sign an ECHL contract in 2018-19. Additionally, Spencer Dorowicz, whose rights the Thunder acquired from the Cincinnati Cyclones earlier this month, has been included on the roster.
The Thunder’s season-ending roster consists of 12 forwards, five defensemen. It is a paired down version of the 24-man Protected List, which was released on June 3. In this list, Devin Buffalo, Hakon Nilsen, Ian Edmondson, Kevin Patterson, Corey Kalk, Grayson Pawlenchuk, Matt DeBlouw, Ryan Van Stralen, and Guillaume Asselin were left off.
Kalk’s rights were traded to the Maine Mariners, completing the 12/27/18 trade for Luke Stork, who never played for the Thunder.
Further, this list only includes players on ECHL contracts, so you will not see Jared Wilson, Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells, Colin Larkin, Jason Salvaggio, Jesse Gabrielle, and Nolan Vesey, as they were on NHL or AHL deals when they played for Wichita last season.
The roster is as follows:
Forwards: Ralph Cuddemi, PC Labrie (V), Mark MacMillan, Stefan Fournier, Dyson Stevenson, Lane Bauer, Quentin Shore, Spencer Dorowicz, Hayden Hodgson, Calder Brooks, Jakob Stukel, Steven Iacobellis
Defenseman: Tyler Elbrecht (V), Nolan De Jong, Dylan Labbe, Dillon Donnelly, Keoni Texeira
Iacobellis’ name is on the roster, even though he signed in Bakersfield. By doing this, head coach Bruce Ramsay ensures that Wichita will have his rights, should he be sent down to the ECHL.
Of the 17 players mentioned above, up to eight of them will receive qualifying offers. The team must make those offers by June 30. Up until then, the team can sign as many of those players as possible before the offer is extended.
The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until August 1, at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2018-19 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.
The Thunder staff will be heading to Las Vegas for ECHL meetings this week, so do not expect a signing announcement until next week at the earliest.
Keep track of all the signings and movement during the 2019 ECHL offseason by visiting our ECHL Transactions page!