WICHITA, Kan. – So far, all of the signing announcements for the Wichita Thunder have been elements of their core group from the year before. That trend continued on Wednesday, as the team announced the re-signing of defenseman Cam Clarke.
The 24-year-old defenseman made his Thunder debut in Kansas City on March 7, while the team was in the middle of a seven-game road trip. Before turning pro, he played 126 games on the Ferris State blueline, collecting 33 points (3G, 30A), 91 penalty minutes, along with a -28 rating. Clarke was taken in the fifth round (136th pick overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, after a 50-point season for the Lone Star Brahmas in the NAHL during 2015-16.
“I’m very excited to have Cam coming back for the upcoming season,” stated Head Coach Bruce Ramsay. “In the limited action he saw with us last year, he showed extreme poise, can see the ice well and makes a great first decision to get out of our zone. I’m looking forward to working with him this season.”
Clarke joins Jay Dickman, Spencer Dorowicz, and Peter Crinella as those who have signed in Wichita for next season.
Thunder Hand Out Qualifying Offers
On the same day the Thunder and Edmonton Oilers announced a multi-year extension to their player affiliation, the team announced the eight players who received qualifying offers.
On the blueline, Jacob Graves, Sean Allen, and Patrik Parkkonen received offers. Upfront, Jason Salvaggio, Fabrizio Ricci, Lane Bauer, and Billy Exell received offers. Goaltender Mitch Gillam was also tendered an 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 2020-21 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.
The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until July 16 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, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until July 16. After July 16, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the player shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams.
Keep track of all the signings and movement during the 2020 ECHL offseason by visiting our ECHL Transactions page!