Wichita, KS (August 23rd) - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators and powered by Toyota, announced this afternoon the team has come to terms with forward Blake Tatchell for the 2016-17 season.
"Blake was a player I targeted right from the start," commented Head Coach Malcolm Cameron. "I knew he was well coached, determined and intelligent. His college coach in Alaska is a friend of mine from our time in the ECHL and came highly recommended. I look forward to seeing him in the Senators rookie camp."
Tatchell, 25, joins the Thunder following a four-year career at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. He appeared in 142 games, totaling 103 points (31g, 72a) and was named to the 2014-15 NCAA (WCHA) Third All-Star Team.
A native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound forward was named the Team MVP and Rookie of the Year during his freshman campaign. During his senior year, he served as an alternate captain and then went on to sign an amateur tryout contract with the Lake Erie Monsters.
"Malcolm Cameron was a big reason why I signed in Wichita," stated Tatchell. "The hockey world is very small and when you have the reputation that Malcolm has, I immediately realized that he is a coach I want to play for. I am extremely excited to start my professional career in Wichita and am honored to be given the opportunity to be a part of this team."
Prior to his collegiate career, Tatchell played three seasons for the SJHL's Battleford North Stars from 2009-12. He racked up 190 points (78g, 112a) in 169 games while also being named Team MVP back-to-back seasons. His best season came in 2011-12 when he recorded 86 points (42g, 44a) in 57 games and was named the league's MVP. He was also a finalist for the RBC Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year Award.
"I have heard nothing but great things in regards to the facilities, city, and of course the fan base of the Thunder. I am beyond ready for the season to start and am looking forward to October when I can throw on that jersey for the first time and get to work."
Tatchell will attend Senators' rookie camp in September. He becomes the 12th player added to the preseason roster, joining Louick Marcotte, Mitch Holmberg, Ian Lowe, Alexis Loiseau, Gerrad Grant, Landon Oslanski, Dalton Reum, Vincent Arseneau, Drew Owsley, James Melindy and Matt DeBlouw.
The Thunder kicks off their 25th Anniversary season on Saturday, October 15th against the Tulsa Oilers. Season tickets are on sale now. Place a $25 deposit for up to four seats and pay it off in 14 payments. Contact a Thunder representative at the office today.
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