WICHITA, Kan. – Bruce Ramsay and the Wichita Thunder have been relatively quiet so far in the 2021 offseason. That changed Tuesday afternoon with the announced re-signing of defenseman Alex Peters and forward Stephen Johnson.
The Thunder come off their best regular season since joining the ECHL and one of their best seasons in team history. The historic season ended sour as Wichita fell in the opening round of the Kelly Cup playoffs to the Fort Wayne Komets.
Peters was a midseason pickup for Ramsay, joining the Thunder on March 2. He went on to record 12 points (4g, 8a) in his rookie season accompanied by a +14 +/- rating. Peters was one of Wichita’s bright spots in the playoffs last season, scoring three points (3a) in the five games.
In his opening few games, Peters struggled to find his place on the team. He spent significant time alongside Dean Stewart, who jumpstarted his growth. Once comfortable, Peters took off, scoring in three straight games (4 points – 2g, 2a).
Peters became a strong piece of the Thunder’s blue line, recording a negative plus/minus just three times in his final 27 appearances. He proved that it didn’t matter who he needed to lineup with, he could provide consistency. As the season went along, he spent time with nearly every Thunder defenseman, but spent most of his time with Stewart, Noel Hoefenmayer and Riley McCourt.
Johnson joins former St. Mary University teammate Peters in the Thunder re-signed pool. Johnson joined the Thunder on February 22, partially into the Thunder’s 2020-21 campaign. He played alongside Brayden Watts and Spencer Dorowicz most of the year, a line that brought maximum energy every night for the Thunder.
In his rookie season, Johnson ended up with 18 points (6g, 12a) including two shorthanded goals. His addition to the penalty kill made them that much bigger.
Johnson got into the action quickly, scoring in his third and fourth games with Wichita. During Wichita’s postseason run, Johnson only appeared twice, recording just one assist.
These signings open was could likely be a full few weeks for Ramsay and the Thunder. The ECHL has been busy with signings in the opening couple weeks of the offseason. For a full list of ECHL offseason transactions, visit our transaction page.
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