Wichita, KS (Dec. 2nd) - The Wichita Thunder, proud member of the ECHL and powered by Toyota, announced several roster moves before the team's three-game Eastern road swing this weekend. Defenseman Zack Josepher has been dealt to the Missouri Mavericks for future considerations. Added to the roster are forwards Erik Higby and Kyle Gibbons, who signed ECHL SPC agreements. The Thunder have activated forward Kurtis Bartliff and goaltender Tim Boron while placing forward Nikita Kashirsky and defenseman Kirill Tulupov on reserve. Goaltender Ben Meisner has been released from his ECHL agreement.
Higby, 25, signed an Amateur Tryout Contract with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League (AHL) in the beginning of October before reporting to the Missouri Mavericks. A native of Detroit Michigan, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound forward wrapped up a four-year collegiate career at Northern Michigan University where he totaled 58 points 27g, 31a) in 128 career games. Higby was a +42 in 2012-13 and won the Ed Ward Most Improved Player Award during his senior season. The rookie forward is no stranger to the Sunshine State, having played one season for the Topeka RoadRunners of the NAHL in 2009-10, where he racked up 80 points (27g, 53a) in just 57 games. He led the league in plus/minus with a +36 and was named the NAHL's Forward of the Year and Most Valuable Player Award.
Gibbons, 23, began the season with the Indy Fuel of the ECHL. A native of Westlake, Ohio, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound forward turned pro last season after finishing up school at Canisius College. He went on to play for the Toledo Walleye, appearing in 10 games and recording three assists. He was a standout for the Golden Griffins, piling up 130 points (57g, 73a) in 152 career games. In 2012-13, Gibbons led Canisius an Atlantic Hockey Association title and their first-ever NCAA Division I National Tournament and finished 12th in the NCAA in points (43), eighth in goals (21) and sixth in power play goals with nine. He holds several school records including postseason points (23), tied at the top with nine career postseason goals, single-tournament assists (8 in 2013) and the fastest goal to start a game in school history (12 seconds). Prior to heading to college, he played one season for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, recording 29 points (14g, 15a) in 56 games.
Wichita begins a four-game road swing this Friday evening across the border against the Brampton Beast starting at 6:30 p.m. central time. After a two-game set in Ontario, the Thunder will head to Elmira, New York for their first-ever meeting with the Jackals.
Individual tickets are on sale now. Don't delay! Tickets can be purchased at the INTRUST Arena Box office, by calling 755-SEAT or go online at www.selectaseat.com. Stay up-to-date on all the news during the season by visiting www.wichitathunder.com. About the ECHL
The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 541 players who have started their career in the ECHL have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 29 who made their NHL debuts in the 2013-14 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2013-14, marking the 17th 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, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.