WICHITA, Kan. (Sept. 22) - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers and American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, announced the signing of defensemen Nick Minerva and Christian Hausinger for the 2021-22 season.
"Nick and Christian are two young players that I am excited to get into camp," said Head Coach Bruce Ramsay. "Nick brings some pro experience while Christian had a solid career with a successful DIII program."
Minerva, 25, enters his fourth year as a pro. The native of New Brunswick, New Jersey split last season between Tulsa and the Southern Professional Hockey League's Macon Mayhem. He collected 20 points (3g, 17a) in 35 games while serving as an alternate captain for the Mayhem. He was selected to the 2020-21 SPHL First All-Star Team. Minerva finished the season with the Tulsa Oilers recording one goal in 10 games.
“I’m excited to be a part of a winning organization," commented Minerva. "I've heard great things about the Wichita community and their fans, as well as our coach. I can't wait to get the season started and contribute towards our fight to hoist the cup. “
During the 2019-20 campaign, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound blueliner started the year in Macon. He was loaned to the Wheeling Nailers where he recorded nine points (3g, 6a) in 47 games.
Hausinger, 24, turns pro after finishing a four-year career at the University of Wisconsin River-Falls. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound defenseman registered 71 points (16g, 55a) in 96 games for the Falcons. Hausinger was named team captain during his senior campaign and finished his collegiate career as the all-time points leader for defenseman in school history. His best season came in 2019-20 where he tallied 36 points (10g, 26a) in 29 games. He was named to the NCAA DIII First Team All-American, All-USCHO First Team, WIAC All-Conference Team and WIAC Player of the year.
"I'm excited to come to Wichita and get the season started," stated Hausinger. "I can't wait to represent a great fan base and look forward to starting my pro career with an organization with such rich history."
Prior to his collegiate career, Hausinger split three seasons between the North American Hockey League and the United States Hockey League. His best season came in 2014-15 with the Odessa Jackelopes, where he recorded 31 points (7g, 24a) in 59 games. He was named to the NAHL All-Rookie Second Team and NAHL All-South Division Rookie Team.
The Thunder will open their home schedule on Friday, October 29 against the Utah Grizzlies and close home-opening weekend on Saturday, October 30 as the Wheeling Nailers make their first-ever trip to the Air Capital.
Season tickets for the 2021-22 season are on sale now. October is not far away and the schedule has been announced. Join Thunder Nation today and lock in your seat(s) for all 36 home games at INTRUST Bank Arena. For more information, click HERE.
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