Thunder Acquires Rights to D Colten Hayes
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Thunder, proud ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League, and head coach Matt Thomas announced the team has acquired the rights to defenseman Colten Hayes from the South Carolina Stingrays in exchange for rookie center Phil Mangan.
Hayes, who returns for his second stint with the Thunder, will join the team in Colorado and should be available to suit up for Wednesday's game against the Eagles at 6:05 p.m. (1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThudner.com) at Budweiser Events Center.
"We have been looking to add a defenseman for a while now due to recalls and injuries," said Thomas. "South Carolina had Colten's rights and I felt he would complement our current players with his physicality and offensive abilities. Those qualities make him a player that can contribute in many areas. He has worked really hard to round out his game and we are excited to welcome him back to the Thunder."
Hayes, 22, has collected 48 penalty minutes in ten games with the Fort Wayne Komets this season before being claimed off waivers by South Carolina on Nov. 27. He additionally suited up in 18 games in the Central Hockey League with the Missouri Mavericks and logged nine points (1g-8a) and a +3 rating.
Last season, the 6-foot-3 and 210 pound blueliner made his pro debut with the Thunder and recorded 21 points (3g-18a) in 39 games while posting a +2 rating and 69 penalty minutes. He followed up with a pair of assists in nine games with the Reading Royals, who acquired Hayes on Mar. 6 with center Chris Doyle and left wing Ian O'Connor in exchange for defenseman Rob Kwiet.
Hayes posted career-high totals in points (54), assists (42), goals (12) and penalty minutes (200) in 55 games with the Okotoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 2010-11 and was named the AJHL's Outstanding Defenseman that year as recipient of the W.G. Scott Memorial Trophy, given annually to the defensive player who demonstrates the greatest ability in the position throughout the season.
Mangan, 25, posted eight goals and three assists with the Thunder in 31 games this season. He was signed by the Thunder as a free agent on Sept. 6, 2012 and skated with Stjernen (Norway) last season where he registered 15 points in 24 games.
A two time recipient of the ECHL "Award of Excellence," the Thunder led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew over 200,000 fans for the seventh consecutive season in 2011-12. Season Tickets, Group Tickets and Mini-Plans for 2012-13 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit www.StocktonThunder.com.
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