WICHITA, Kan. – The roster shuffling continued for the Wichita Thunder today, but in a good way. The team announced the addition of two players; forward David Thomson and goaltender Olivier Rodrigue, who has been assigned to Wichita by the Edmonton Oilers.
Thomson joins the Thunder after a brilliant career at the university level, playing for the University of Toronto. There, he played in 61 games and registered 69 points (28G, 41A). In his sophomore season for the Varsity Blues, Thomson was named to the USports (OUA West) First All-Star Team, USports Most Valuable Player, and USports All-Canadian First Team after stacking up 40 points (17G, 23A) in just 27 games. He registered 12 multi-point performances that season and led the team with seven power-play goals.
In 2018-19, he represented Team Canada at FISU Winter Universiade and won a Bronze Medal. In seven games, he tallied six points (4G, 2A).
Prior to leaving college earlier this season, he had four points (2G, 2A) in six games played.
“He is a right-shot centerman that will give us depth and scoring down the middle that we have been missing since Matteo Gennaro left,” Thunder head coach Bruce Ramsay said of the signing.
Currently, the center position consists of Carter Johnson, Logan Fredericks, and Tyler Jeanson, all fellow rookies.
In the second move of the day, the Thunder officially added goaltender Olivier Rodrigue to the roster. The second-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft will be in the Thunder lineup for one weekend only, due to COVID protocol entering Canada. Still, the addition of him to the Thunder lineup will be welcome news for a team that is thin in a normally strong position.
The 21-year-old from Chicoutimi, Quebec has spent his North American career in the AHL with the Condors, appearing in 20 games for the club. He sports an AHL record of 6-10-2, with a 3.23 goals against average, an .883 save percentage, and a shutout. Prior to coming to North America, he began his career with Graz EC in Austria. There, he appeared in 23 games, had a 3.11 goals against average, and a .908 save percentage.
Scouts from Dobber’s Prospects break down Rodrigue’s game this way:
“Don’t let Rodrigue’s size scare you away — this kid’s reflexes, rebound control and post-to-post quickness are exceptional. He’s an aggressive netminder who will dart out of the crease to defend shots from anywhere within his own end, and he’s proven to safely steer high-danger shots either into the corners or far from the low slot. Rodrigue’s stick is very active and times his poke checks very well, plus his ability to lock in on pucks throughout an entire cycle helps him interdict cross-crease passes from either corner. His glove hand and its positioning are a work in progress, which when coupled with a low silhouette makes him susceptible to get beaten upstairs, especially on the short side.”
“We are excited to have a quality goalie for a couple of games,” commented Ramsay.
Additional signings and other announcements are likely to finish out the week.
The Thunder continue their five-game set with the Kansas City Mavericks this weekend, with games Friday and Saturday night at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence. Faceoffs are set for 7:05 pm both nights. We’ll have the Field Pass Hockey Pregame Show, powered by Pure Performance, on the air at 6:40 pm on the Field Pass Hockey App!