WICHITA, KAN. – The Kelly Cup may still be touring the Colorado Front Range, but 27 other ECHL teams are hard at work building their opening night roster.
That includes the Wichita Thunder, who on Friday announced their season-ending roster for the 2017-18 season. Season-ending rosters may include up to 20 players and cannot include any players who didn’t sign an ECHL contract in 2017-18, so players like Matthew Brown, Alex Miner-Barron, Gerrad Grant, Tyler Currier, Jack Rodewald and Alexis Loiseau have been left off. Additionally, Daniel Leavens, whose rights the Thunder acquired from the Rapid City Rush Wednesday, has been included on the roster.
The Thunder’s 20-man roster consisted of 14 forwards, six defensemen and is as follows:
Forwards: Ryan Van Stralen, Mitch Maloney, Ralph Cuddemi, Steven Iacobellis, Mark MacMillan, Lane Bauer, Dyson Stevenson, Travis Ewanyk, Cam Reid, Grayson Pawlenchuk, Nick Latta, Daniel Leavens, Guillaume Asselin and Matt DeBlouw.
Defenseman: Guillaume Lepine, Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin, Samuel Thibault, Jeremy Beaudry, Kevin Patterson and Travis Brown.
Of the 20 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.
Thunder Announces First Signing of the Offseason
Saturday is the first day of the free agency signing period in the ECHL and the Thunder started with a bang, announcing the return of their team captain.
24-year-old Dyson Stevenson is coming off a career season where he notched 30 points (14g, 16a) to go along with a team-leading 188 penalty minutes. A native of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, the 6-foot, 185-pound forward was acquired in a trade last offseason with the Allen American and named team captain prior to the 2017-18 home opener.
“I’m excited to get back to Wichita where the organization was great and the fans were even better,” commented Stevenson. “We had a great group of guys last year and had a lot of fun. We didn’t get the result we wanted to in the first round against the Colorado Eagles. This year, I’m excited to get back and I hope we have a chance to win the Kelly Cup. I’m going to work hard in the offseason to do what I can to help the Thunder win it all this year.”
Dyson is the consummate team player,” stated Head Coach Malcolm Cameron. “He’s a true captain who is not only respected in our locker room, but throughout the ECHL for his compete day in and day out. It’s only fitting that we announce our team captain as the first signing off the off season.”
Keep track of all the signings during the 2018 ECHL offseason by visiting our ECHL Transactions page!