Mavericks Re-Sign Leading Scorer, Goaltender and Add Defenseman
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri - The Missouri Mavericks announced Thursday the Central Hockey League (CHL) club has added three more players to their 2012-13 roster including the team's leading scorer from last season, Sebastien Thinel. The Mavericks have also re-signed goaltender B.J. O'Brien and the club added defenseman Jamie VanderVeeken. The Mavericks now have 10 players under contract for the 2012-13 season, second most in the CHL.
"We are pleased with the direction of the team," said Mavericks' President and General Manager Brent Thiessen. "We feel these three players make us a much better team and they fill some holes we needed to fill."
Thinel, 31 (3/24/81), led the Mavericks in scoring and set a franchise record for points in a season in his first season with the team with 82 points (23-5982) in 65 games played. The St. Jerome, Quebec native joined an elite club last season while playing with the Mavericks when he became just the seventh player in the 20-year history of the league to record his 700th CHL point. He is just two points shy of moving up to sixth place on the league's all-time points list. Thinel led the entire CHL in scoring during the 2010-11 season with a career-high 110 points (35-75110) in 66 games. Prior to joining the Mavericks, Thinel played all but one of his previous nine seasons with the CHL's Odessa Jackalopes and led the team in scoring for five straight seasons. The 6-foot-1, 212-pound forward has eclipsed 80 points in the last six seasons he has played in the CHL and he has a total of 729 points (258-471729) in 567 games played in the CHL.
Thinel is a six-time CHL All-Star and two-time winner of the Joe Burton Award as the league's scoring champion. He was awarded the CHL's Most Valuable Player Award following the 2008-09 season when he led the league with 97 points and tied for the league lead with 38 goals. He has also been named to the All-CHL Team twice in the past four seasons (2008-09, 2010-11).
"Sebastien Thinel is a game changer," said Mavericks' Head Coach Scott Hillman. "He made every player on the ice a better player last season. We would move struggling players to Sebastien's line and he could instantly help them to get back on track. In addition to his big point production, he does a lot of little things that go unnoticed outside of the locker room to give us a chance to win every night. We could not be more pleased than to have Sebby back as a big part of our franchise."
O'Brien, 26 (8/20/85), returns to the Mavericks for his second pro season. The native of Lakeville, Minnesota played for five different teams in three different leagues during his rookie campaign, but finished his season with the Mavericks. He played in two games for Missouri, both wins, and stopped 63 of 69 shots in his two starts. Prior to joining the Mavericks, he played the majority of his games with the Southern Professional Hockey League's (SPHL) Louisiana IceGators where he went 7-7-2 in 18 games and had a 2.78 goals-against average and .904 save percentage. O'Brien played three seasons at St. Norbert College before turning pro.
"B.J. had limited action with us last season but stepped in and showed very good potential," added Hillman. "He is a hard working, technical goaltender and showed a lot of perseverance that he is willing to play any role to help this organization achieve success. Not only do we believe he can be a very solid goaltender in our league, but he has also been a big asset to our youth hockey program in the area by spending hours on the ice helping develop young goaltenders."
VanderVeeken, 26 (1/20/86), returns to the CHL after playing one season overseas in Italy and England. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenseman enters his sixth pro season and fourth in the CHL where he previously played for the Rapid City Rush and the Arizona Sundogs. He most recently played for the Cardiff Devils in England where he accounted for 30 points on seven goals and 23 assists in just 29 games. The Wallaceburg, Ontario native won the 2010 CHL Championship with Rapid City where he set a career-high with 12 goals. In total, VanderVeeken has played in 303 games and has 156 points (50-106156) and 405 penalty minutes in his career.
"Jamie Vanderveeken is a proven winner and one of the top defensemen in the CHL," said Hillman. "He has a huge shot from the blueline and the ability to move the puck up the ice quickly. We made great strides with our power play last season and adding Jamie to the mix this season will give us another element in which will be concerned with."
Missouri Mavericks 2012-13 season tickets are on sale now. Contact the Mavericks ticket staff Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at (816) 252-7825. For more information on the Missouri Mavericks visit www.MissouriMavericks.com .
Central Hockey League Stories from July 19, 2012
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