Wichita, KS (August 28th) - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, AHL's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, announced today the signing of goaltender Joel Rumpel.
"I'm counting down the days until the season starts," said Rumpel. "I've been training and getting ready for the year in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I'm excited to play for Coach Cameron and continue his winning tradition. I have heard nothing but positive things from guys that have played for him. I'm excited to get to Wichita and help the team in any way I can. I'm also looking forward to getting involved in the community and meeting all the great people in Kansas."
Rumpel, 26, enters his third season as a pro after playing last year with the Cincinnati Cyclones. He appeared in nine games, going 4-4-0 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. Rumpel claimed CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week honors for the week of February 27th to March 5th. During that span, he posted a record of 2-0-0-0, a 1.00 goals-against average, stopped 97 of 99 shots and posted a .979 save percentage over two games.
A native of Swift Current, Saskatechewan, the 6-foot-3, 194-pound netminder was a part of two Kelly Cup championship teams with the Allen Americans. He was signed to a contract by the San Jose Sharks after his senior season at the University of Wisconsin and assigned to Allen. In four games, he went 3-0-1 in four starts, earning a 1.68 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. The following season, Rumpel made 39 starts, going 21-11-4 with a 2.81 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage for the Americans. He also earned a call-up to the American Hockey League's San Jose Barracuda, going 1-0-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .881 save percentage.
"Joel is a proven winner and a true professional," commented Head Coach Malcolm Cameron. "Unfortunately through no fault of his own, he was limited to only a handful of games last season and is determined to get back to his winning pedigree."
Prior to turning pro, Rumpel had an outstanding four-year collegiate career with the Badgers. He compiled a 53-50-11 record with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage during that time. Rumpel helped guide the team to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances, a WCHA Final Five Tournament championship, and a Big Ten Tournament championship. Additionally, he was named as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, presented to the nation's top collegiate player, and the Mike Richter Award, presented to the nation's most outstanding collegiate goaltender following his junior season.
Rumpel becomes the 16th player announced this offseason and joins Matt DeBlouw, Dyson Stevenson, Jeremy Beaudry, Travis Ewanyk, Etienne Boutet, Justin Hamonic, Istvan Sofron, Louick Marcotte, Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin, Justin Crandall, Jamie Doornbosch, Matt Tipoff, Gerrad Grant, Shaquille Merasty and Miner-Barron on the roster.
The 26th season of Thunder hockey kicks off on Friday, October 13th against the Indy Fuel.
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