05/30/2018 9:00 AM -
Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Jeff Pyle announced today the Evansville Thunderbolts’ protected players for the 2018-19 season. The SPHL allows for each team to protect up to 13 players — of which no more than three in veteran status — who were under contract at the end of last season.
“Although we had some tough decisions, I feel that we have a solid core group with a mixture of youth and experience that will give us a solid foundation to build off of for next season,” said Pyle. “It was a great group last year and the atmosphere in the locker room is something that we want to carry over into next season.”
•Robbie Hall (Defense) — The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Schaumberg, Ill. native, played 44 games with Evansville last season, earning 5 goals and 7 assists for 12 points.
•Brandon Lubin (Defense) — The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Commerce, Mich. native has been called up to the ECHL twice in two years. Last season he played 46 games for Evansville, where he tallied 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points.
•Justin MacDonald (Forward) — This fan favorite and playmaker is no stranger to the ECHL. While he spent the first half of last season with Evansville (12 goals, 12 assists in 16 games), the 6-foot, 180-pound Newmarket, Ont. native played the rest of the season for both the Adirondack Thunder and the Fort Wayne Komets, where he earned 5 goals and 4 assists in 28 games.
•Nick D’Avolio (Center) — The 5-foot-11, 185-pound North Riverside, Ill. native had a standout season last year, tallying 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points in 56 games. D’Avolio ended the season tied with MacDonald for the team’s highest +/- with a +10.
•Tyler Vankleef (Forward) — Vankleef spent last year between the Thunderbolts and the ECHL — Wichita Thunder, Wheeling Nailers and Rapid City Rush. The 6-foot, 180-pound Dundas, Ont. native played in 27 games for Evansville, earning 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points.
•Hunter Stewart (Forward) — The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Calgary, Alta. native made a big impact for Evansville when he was picked up in the backend of the season. He earned just as many points as games played (4 goals and 4 assists in 8 games).
•Mike Fazio (LW) — Coming straight out of the University of Wisconsin River Falls, the 6-foot, 185-pound Bartlett, Ill. native had a strong first year as a pro, tallying 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 43 games.
•Dave Williams (Forward) — Evansville’s leading scorer in 2016-17 returned to rack up 21 goals and 32 assists for 53 points in 56 games.
•Carter Shinkaruk (Forward) — The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Langley, BC native was another late addition to Evansville’s roster last season. However, the third-year pro was able to earn 4 goals and 3 assists in only 10 games.
•John Scorcia (Center) — The second-year pro had a strong first season but an even stronger sequel with Evansville. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Hudson, Fla. native tallied 17 goals and 34 assists for 51 points in 56 games.
•Frank Schumacher (Defense) — The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Brighton, Mich. native has played in the ECHL three times in the last three seasons. Last season in Evansville, Schumacher earned 5 goals and 15 assists in 41 games.
•Ian Sylves (Goalie) — Sylves joined the team at the end of last season, where he went 3-1-1.
•Chase Nieuwendyk (Defense) — The 6-foot, 180-pound Georgetown, Ont. native had a standout season on the ice last year, tallying 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points in 53 games.
Any players who are not protected by one of the league’s 10 teams will be eligible for the upcoming Quad City expansion draft. Players who are not protected, nor drafted, cannot be signed to their previous team until Aug. 1.
To order your tickets for the Thunderbolts’ third season at Ford Center, call 812-422-8000.
About Evansville Thunderbolts: The Evansville Thunderbolts is the area’s only professional hockey team. The Thunderbolts are a proud member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). The team is owned and operated by VW Sports, L.L.C, a subsidiary of VenuWorks, Inc. www.evansvillethunderbolts.com