Thunder Adds Toughness; Signs Gagnon
WICHITA, Kan. - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, AHL's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, announced today the signing of forward Mathieu Gagnon for the 2020-21 season.
"Mathieu brings a big, physical presence to our lineup as well as a veteran voice in the locker room," commented Head Coach Bruce Ramsay. "Thunder fans should know him well as he played for Tulsa a year after I left for Grand Rapids. We're excited for him to come back to the states."
Gagnon, 27, returns to North America after spending the last year and a half in Europe. A native of Montreal, Quebec, the 6-foot-2, 235-pound forward served as an alternate captain for the EIHL's Manchester Storm where he collected 13 points (6g, 7a) in 46 games to go along with 65 penalty minutes. In 2018-19, he began the season with the Brampton Beast before heading overseas. He ended up with HDD Jesenice of AlpsHL, recording 12 points (2g, 10a) and finishing with the same team in the Slovenia league. He also played 54 games for the Nottingham Panthers in 2017-18, tallying 11 points (2g, 9a) and 106 penalty minutes.
Gagnon turned pro in 2012-13 with the Fort Wayne Komets. The following season, he spent time with the Stockton Thunder and the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 43 games for the Thunder, he racked up 136 penalty minutes. In 2015-16, he collected 6 points (3g, 3a) and 163 penalty minutes for the Tulsa Oilers.
Prior to turning pro, he played a four-year junior career with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Shawinigan Cataractes and Victoriaville Tigres. In 2011-12, he helped Shawinigan to a Memorial Cup Title. Overall, Gagnon piled up 228 penalty minutes to go along with 19 points (4g, 15a) in 121 games in the QMJHL. He also played for the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Whitecourt Wolverines in 2012-13, where he was the league's most penalized player with 259 minutes.
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