Wichita, KS (August 13th) - The Wichita Thunder, proud member of the ECHL and powered by Toyota, announced this afternoon that they have agreed to terms with goaltender David Shantz (SHAWN-tzz) and forward Paxton Leroux (lah-ROO) for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
“David has had a solid career at the pro level and will be a terrific addition for us,” commented Head Coach Kevin McClelland. “He is excited to come here and help us. Paxton adds another level of size, skill and toughness. We look forward to both players for this upcoming season.”
Shantz, 29, returns to the pro ranks after playing this past season for the University of New Brunswick of the CIS. A native of Burlington, Ontario, the 6-foot-2, 212-pound netminder was a second round pick of the Florida Panthers (#37 overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Shantz has appeared in 159 career ECHL games, going 82-54-15 with a goals against average of 2.86 and a save percentage of .905. He was selected to the ECHL All-Star Game in 2006-07 and 2009-10.
“David had an excellent season with our University of New Brunswick team,” said Gardiner MacDougall, Head Coach of the University of New Brunswick. “He played a key part in helping a young UNB team with 13 new players capture the Atlantic University Conference and proceed to the 2015 Canadian National Championship Final. He has an excellent work ethic , a high compete level and will be a tremendous teammate.”
Prior to turning pro, Shantz had an outstanding junior career with the Mississauga IceDogs and the Peterborough Petes of the OHL. He started 43 games for the IceDogs in 2003-04, posting a 2.90 goals against average and .911 save percentage and was named to the CHL All-Rookie Team and played in the Top Prospects Game. In 2005-06, he was sent to the Petes and helped them to an OHL Championship, playing in 19 post-season games with a 2.62 goals against average and .925 save percentage.
Leroux, 22, enters his second season as a pro and first in Wichita. A native of Peterborough, Ontario, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward joined the pro ranks last year with the Quad City Mallards. In 43 contests, he collected three assists and amassed 176 penalty minutes. He was invited to the New York Rangers training camp the past two seasons before joining the Mallards in October. Leroux spent his junior career with the London Knights and the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. In 36 career games, he collected 100 penalty minutes to go along with two points and was a part of the 2012-13 OHL Championship team in London.
Shantz and Leroux join Danick Gauthier, Ray Macias, Andrew Blazek, Ryan Ruikka, Kenton Miller, Anthony De Luca, Todd Hosmer and Timothy Boyle to the roster that has been announced for the upcoming season.
Season tickets are on sale now. Don't delay! Call the Wichita Thunder office and visit with a season ticket rep today to learn more. Stay up-to-date on all the news during the off-season by visiting www.wichitathunder.com.
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About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16. There have been 569 players who have started their career in the ECHL have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 28 who made their NHL debuts in the 2014-15 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 29 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com.