09/26/2018 3:34 PM -
The Evansville Thunderbolts announced today the return of goaltender Ryan De Melo, and skater Chase Nieuwendyk. De Melo began his Thunderbolts career last season, while Nieuwendyk will return for his third season as a Thunderbolt.
Last season, De Melo joined the Thunderbolts following time with the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs and Peoria Rivermen. In 12 regular season games with Evansville, the Brampton, Ontario native picked up a 5-4-3 record with a .915 save percentage, and then was in goal for the Thunderbolts' first ever playoff game and victory against the Macon Mayhem. Prior to 2017-18, De Melo played for the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs in 2016-17, and the Huntsville Havoc in 2015-16. Following his four years in Elmira College, he also played 13 ECHL games with the Brampton Beast in 2014-15. In 63 total SPHL games, Ryan is 20-27-8 with a save percentage of .908. “I'm excited to be returning to Evansville and putting on the Thunderbolts uniform once again,” said De Melo. “I felt we had a lot of success last season and I am looking forward to building on that this year.”
Nieuwendyk boasted career high numbers in his first full season with Evansville last year, tallying 10 goals and 33 points in 53 games, while playing both forward and defense, bringing his total number of games played in Evansville to 66. Nieuwendyk has been with the Thunderbolts since the inaugural 2016-17 season, when he was acquired from the Fayetteville FireAntz, and in 93 total SPHL games with Evansville, Fayetteville, and the Huntsville Havoc, the Georgetown, Ontario native has 17 goals and 48 points to his credit. “I’m looking forward to getting back on the Ford Center ice and working towards another winning season,” said Nieuwendyk.
Nieuwendyk and De Melo join George Holt, Ryan Marker, Frank Schumacher, Shayne Morrissey, Carter Shinkaruk, Alex Carlsson, Zac Sikich, Brandon Lubin, Hunter Stewart, Mike Fazio, Fred Hein, Taylor Cutting, Beau Walker, Ian Sylves, Ryan Staynor, Pijus Rulevicius, Ben Owen, and Robbie Hall on October's growing training camp roster.