WICHITA, Kan. (Mar. 31) - The The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers, American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, announced two trades prior to the ECHL's trade deadline.
The Thunder have dealt defenseman Jacob Graves to the Atlanta Gladiators for defenseman Billy Constantinou (CON-stan-teen-oh) and two future considerations to be completed this summer.
"I can't thank the city of Wichita enough for the support they've given me over the last three years," stated Graves. "I understand the situation and Bruce was very upfront about me becoming a vet next season. I'm going to miss everyone and everything about the city."
Wichita has dealt defenseman Cam Clarke to the Toledo Walleye for defenseman Connor Walters, forward Ian Parker and a future consideration to be completed this summer.
"I want to thank Jacob and Cam for putting in their best every night while they were here," commented Head Coach Bruce Ramsay. "Again, this situation is not an easy one. These are two players who played important roles for us. At the end of the day, I felt it was in the best interest of our team for the long term to make a few moves. Jacob becomes a vet this year and Cam wanted to be closer to home with a new baby on the way. The return was too good to pass up and hopefully this sets us up for next season."
With Graves approaching 260 games, he becomes a vet next season and can sign with any team.
Constantinou, 21, is in his first year as a pro. A native of Scarborough, Ontario, the 6-foot, 185-pound blueliner started the season with the Iowa Heartlanders. He was dealt to the Gladiators in the beginning of February. Through 54 games, he has tallied 25 points (7g, 18a). He also made his AHL debut on January 15 with the Chicago Wolves.
Prior to signing in Iowa, he played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with Niagara, Kingston and the Soo Greyhounds. His best year came in 2019-20 when he collected 53 points (9g, 44a) in 60 games between Kingston and the Soo.
Walters, 24, is also in his first year as a pro. He had originally signed with the Walleye before the start of the 2020-21 season. Walters joined the Walleye this year and has five helpers in 36 games.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound defenseman played three seasons at Brock University (USports) and was captain of the Beavers in 2019-20. He finished with 29 points (3g, 26a) in 56 games. Prior to that, he played parts of three seasons in the OHL with Owen Sound and Hamilton. He notched 67 points (10g, 57a) in 260 career OHL contests.
Parker, 25, joined Toledo after appearing in 30 games for the Orlando Solar Bears. The 6-foot-9, 249-pound forward had 12 points (6g, 6a) in 30 games for Orlando before heading to the Walleye in late January. in 26 games, he has eight points (4g 4a) with Toledo.
He turned pro this year after playing three seasons at the University of Windsor (USports). Parker lost his senior year due to the pandemic. He totaled 48 points (23g, 25a) in 84 games for the Lancers. He was born in Florence, Kentucky, but is a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
The Thunder returns to action on Friday night with a road trip to the BOK Center to face the Tulsa Oilers at 7:05 p.m.
Join us for our final two games of the season-series against heated rival, Allen. On Saturday, April 9, we are celebrating Hockey is For Everyone. Get two premium tickets and a rainbow Thunder pennant for $40 ($75 value) by using code PACK by clicking HERE or through the Thunder office. The team will be wearing a special Hockey is for Everyone uniform that will be auctioned online on the DASH Auction platform.
Team Photo Night is Sunday, April 10. The first 1,000 fans get a complimentary team photo, courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods, Novacare. BG Products and Butler Community College.
Single game tickets are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the Wichita Thunder office located at 505 W. Maple, Suite 100, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On weekday game days, the Thunder office closes at 4 p.m. Click here to purchase online!
Fans can also purchase tickets at the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and starting at noon on weekend game days.