Wichita, KS (Dec. 18th) - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, AHL's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, announced two separate transactions today. Forward Matt DeBlouw has been placed on team suspension. The Thunder also acquired forward Johnny Daniels from the Wheeling Nailers for financial considerations.
DeBlouw, 24, leaves the Thunder to pursue opportunities outside of hockey. The second-year forward has 13 points (7g, 6a) in 20 games so far this season. The decision to leave wasn't an easy one, but what was best for him and his family at this time.
"I want to thank the Wichita Thunder Organization, the city of Wichita and everyone that has made my professional hockey career experience a positive one," commented DeBlouw. "The past year and a half that I have spent in Wichita was something that I will be thankful for and always remember. My decision moving back home was a very difficult decision to make because Wichita is a first-class place. My whole life, my family has supported me throughout everything and now its my time to help them out."
Head Coach Malcolm Cameron commented on this tough decision for DeBlouw.
"I know this was a very tough decision for Matt as he was a great player, teammate and even better person," stated Cameron. "But as we know, tough decisions are a part of life and family has to come first."
Daniels, 24, re-signed with the Nailers in the offseason after playing 25 games with the team during the 2016-17 campaign. A native of Andover, Massachusetts, the 5-foot-10, 161-pound forward is in his third year at the pro level. He was part of one of the most memorable moments in the league last season, recording a natural hat trick in the span of 57 seconds in a 6-4 victory against the Quad City Mallards on March 11th.
He turned pro in 2015-16 after playing a four-year collegiate career at Saint Anselm College, where he had 15 or more points each season. He finished with 85 points (38g, 47a) in 91 games before heading to the Southern Professional Hockey League's Louisana IceGators. Over the course of two years, he had a significant amount of success at the SPHL level, posting 66 points (34g, 32a) in 80 games with Louisana, Evansville, Peoria and Huntsville. He was loaned to Wheeling last February and finished the year with 10 points (6g, 4a).
The Thunder returns home on Tuesday night to host the Tulsa Oilers in the StoneWolf Casino Cup Series starting at 7:05 p.m.
Individual tickets for all games are on sale now. Season tickets are still available for purchase. Get your seats for just $15 per month. All it takes is a $50 deposit per seat to reserve yours today. To learn more, click here or contact a Thunder representative at the office today!
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