WICHITA, KS – The Wichita Thunder announced they have extended qualifying offers to eight players from the team’s season-ending roster.
At the top of the list is Alexis Loiseau, who left the team in January to go overseas. Prior to doing so, he led the team in points with 29 (16G, 13A). After attending training camp with the Binghamton Senators, Loiseau was called up to Binghamton in mid-December and barely played. One of Cameron’s key selling points to get Loiseau back to the Air Capital could be the familiarity they have with the Bakersfield Condors. Loiseau played 12 games for the AHL club during the 2015-16 season, earning three points and scoring a game-winning goal. Loiseau is signed to play in Denmark for next season.
Tyler Currier, a 28-year-old forward, also received a qualifying offer. In 2016-17, he split time between Indy and Wheeling, scoring 48 points (20G, 28A) in 73 games (24 games with Indy, 49 games with Wheeling).
Jack Rodewald also received a qualifying offer from the club, despite playing most of the 2016-17 season in the American Hockey League. During his six games in Wichita, he collected eight points (5G, 3A) and a game-winning goal. In Binghamton, he scored 14 goals and had 27 points in 66 games.
The final forward to earn a qualifying offer is David Friedmann, who put up 14 points in 40 games with the club after being acquired from Fort Wayne in early January. Friedmann is signed to play in Slovakia for next season.
Three defensemen earned qualifying offers.
The first is Jamie Doornbosch, who was a great find for Cameron last season after Chris Rumble earned time with the Binghamton Senators. The 26-year-old “rookie” (only by ECHL standards) had a very solid season on the blueline, collecting 30 points (10G, 20A) in 44 games for the Thunder. 12 of those 30 points (5G, 7A) came on the man-advantage.
Next is Nolan Zajac, who was acquired the deadline day trade with Toledo that sent Landon Oslanski to northwest Ohio. Zajac was one of the league’s top defensemen as a rookie, earning 54 points in 61 games on the Walleye blueline.
James Melindy also earned a qualifying offer from the team. He served as the team’s assistant captain and led the team with 229 penalty minutes while adding 17 points from the blueline.
The final qualifying offer goes in between the pipes, Drew Owsley. The rookie netminder appeared in 40 games last year for Wichita, going 9-23-2-1 with a 3.42 goals against average and a .902 save percentage. With Cameron saying that there will be one goalie from Edmonton & Ottawa in camp with Wichita, Owsley will have an opportunity to refine his craft by working with Edmonton’s goalie coach, while potentially playing in fewer games.
Players who signed a contract by June 30 did not need to receive a qualifying offer.
Each team was entitled to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight qualified players. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four could be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the upcoming 2016-17 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.
The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until Aug. 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.
A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player will retain the rights to that veteran until August 1. After that date, if the veteran player is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.
If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by August 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.
For the latest list of player signings across the ECHL, visit our 2017 ECHL Transactions page!