#5 Austin Barr

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas 1996

5'11 170, lb Right Handed Defenseman, Assistant Captain

 

Austin is a smooth skating defenseman that has the most games played in a Junior Thunder uniform at 85 games. At just 17 years old, Austin is very familiar with our coaching strategies and has a tremondous work ethic that has earned him the role as Assistant Captain this year. The team will be looking to see Austin continue to work on the defensive side but to also get more involved on the offensive side. Austin is a senior and will be looking to continue his hockey career at the College level.

 

 

#7 John Pierce

Hometown: Fairbanks, Alaska 1995

6' 200 lb, Left Handed Forward

 

John fits many roles on your hockey team, currently being used as a Center, he has played wing and has also taken some shifts as a defenseman.  This versitility as a  player helps keep John on the ice for a variety of situations that happen throughout the game and season. John has strong work ethic and is very coachable, we will look for him to develop a leadership role as the year goes on. John is looking to continue his hockey career at the College level.

 

 

#3 Joel Gellvear

Hometown: Rouleau, SK Canada

5'10 185 lb , Left Handed Center, Team Captain

 

Joel Gellvear will enter his third season with the Wichita Junior Thnder and is the is the All-Time Leader in Goals (33), Assists (48) and Total Points (81), he is also 6th in Games Played at (68). Joel, who started out last season in San Diego of the WSHL, played in 22 games and scored 21 points for the Gulls before being traded back to Wichita right before the Las Vegas College Showcase. He made an immediate impact picking up right where he left off from the previous year that saw him get 50 points and lead the Junior Thunder in scoring during the 2013-14 season. He amassed 31 points in the remaining 22 games for Wichita in 2014-15, while playing alongside a familiar winger in Jack McClelland. Joel, who was very happy to be back in a Thunder uniform, averaged nearly 1.5 points per game over that span and has averaged better than a point a game over his 90 games played in the Western States Hockey League. “Joel is a definitely a first line center in the WSHL, he has great work ethic and sees the ice very well, his constant production over the last couple years is proof of that. He is a very balanced player that scores almost as many goals as he sets his teammates up for. I am thrilled to be getting back a player of Joel’s ability and will work hard to help find a college for him next year. Much like Jack McClelland, Joel has been a cornerstone for the Junior Thunder franchise and he will follow in Jack’s footsteps next year as he will be the Team Captain for the 2015-16 season”, commented coach Weingartner. 

 

 

#10 Centis Biks

Hometown: Dallas, TX

5'8 165 lb, Left Handed Forward/ Defenseman

 

Centis cam to the team late in the season and was able to get 7 games in before play-offs, being just a '97 birth year and capable of playing both offense or defense coach Weingartner thought bringing him in for the end of the season would help get Biks a feeling for the Junior A level. Biks was playing AA Midget in Texas for the majority of this season before coming to the Junior Thunder. "Centis will be a player for the future, he skates well and is a versitile player", commented Head Coach Weingartner.

 

 

 

#11 Brock Steffen

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas 1995

5'10 165 lb, Right Handed Defenseman/ Forward

 

Brock is playing in his first year for the Junior Thunder. Brock played his minor hockey in the Wichita area and had a chance to play for the Junior Thunder last season but chosse to finish out his high school career with the Wichita Warriors. Brock is a natural defenseman but can play wing and any position forward or defense on the penalty kill. Brock skates well, has good skills and plays with an edge, when he develops some confidendance with his play he will start to stand out on the ice. Brock is looking to continue his hockey career at the College level.

 

 

#90 Keegan Hull

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

6'1 175, Left Handed Forward

 

Keegan Hull is a skilled forward that is a good passer and is very reliable defensively. Hull is in his 3rd stint with the Jr Thunder, he played the first season back in 2012-13 and then cam back for the start of 2013-14 where he posted 29 points in just 17 games before returning to Canada to finish the year in Alberta. As a 20 year old, the Jr Thunder expect his leadership and work ethic to rub off on the younger players.

 

 

#13 Dylan McDonald

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas 1997

5'8 160 lb, Right Handed Forward

 

Dylan is playing in his first season with the Junior Thunder having played for the Wichita Warriors the last couple of seasons. Dylan who played with the McClelland twins as well as Brock Steffen on the Warriors team, brings alot of energy and work ethic when he comes to the rink. At only 17 years old, he still has parts of his game that need to be worked on but does have a good shot and is not afraid of the contact at the junior level. Dylan needs to keep it simple and let his work ethic shine, he will look to continue is hockey career at the College level.

 

 

#14 Zach Bilius

Hometown: Temperance, MI 1996

6' 1 195 lb, Right Handed Defenseman

 

 

#18 Max McClelland

Hometown: Oshawa, Canada 1997

6' 165 lb, Left Handed Defenseman

 

Max, a defenseman, played in 37 games, had no goals but chipped in 4 assists and finished with 14 penalty minutes. “Max was definitely the most improved player on our team last year, I started off using him as a forward just to get him some shifts early in the year but once he began to feel comfortable on the back end, he improved every night. Max has great speed and he should be full of confidence, we will expect him to log a lot more minutes this year”, stated Weingartner. Max will be a senior at Maize high School will be entering his second season as a Junior Thunder player. He will be looking to play a couple more years at the junior level before moving on to play college hockey.

 

 

#22 Keaton O'Maila

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas 1995

5'11 150 lb Right Handed Forward

 

Keaton O’Malia is no stranger to the Junior Thunder organization as he will be entering his third season with the club. He was on the inaugural team back in 2012-13 where he played in 26 games as a rookie, Keaton then started the year last year only to end up with a season ending injury after a promising start 9 games in, recording 2 assists and getting 8 penalty minutes. Keaton had surgery back in November and traveled with the team for the remainder of the year. He has been working hard to strengthen his repaired shoulder and looks to make a full recovery. Weingartner said, “Since getting the OK from his doctors, Keaton has been on the ice doing his best to get back to speed and rehabbing his shoulder. He looks better every time I see him out there and I know he excited to have a solid year in his last season of eligibility. Keaton is wanting to take on more of a leadership role and is looking to have a solid year that will hopefully lead to a college opportunity for himself.”

 

 

 

#23 Zach Balodis

Hometown: Parma, Ohio 1996

5'11 182 lb, Right Handed Defenseman, Assistant Captain

 

Zach who was an assistant captain for the Junior Thunder last year, had a solid year , scoring 39 points in just 31 games played, on 12 goals and 27 assists, he also managed 17 penalty minutes. Even though Zach sustained a major injury to his wrist that required surgery and him to miss 8 weeks and 15 games, he was only 10 points behind the leading defensemen in scoring and actually led the Western States Hockey League in Points-Per-Game  amongst defensemen at 1.25. Coach Weingartner had these things to say about Zach, “Zach was a major contributor on our team last year, playing a ton of playing time in all types of situations, he finished with 20 points anchoring the power play and logged a lot of minutes on the penalty kill. We will expect the same work load from Zach and I’m sure he will be in the mix for top scoring defensemen. Adding a player like Zach to our line-up makes us that much better as he is able to lock down opposing teams top forwards while still contributing on the offensive side.”

 

 

#28 Jet Bell

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas 1996

5'10 175 lb, Left Handed Forward

 

Recently aquired Jet Bell will be playing his first game at the Junior level when he suits up against the El Paso Rhinos Dec 5th-7th. Jet a native of Wichita Kansas, left the area when he was Bantam age and has really progressed his game. Jet was a draft choice of the Omaha Lancers of the USHL and has been on the radar for a number of USHL and NAHL teams the last two years. At just 18 years old, Jet started the season at the U18 AAA level playing for Little Caesars and is now a member of the Junior Thunder. Jet has great skating ability to go with relentless effort and offensive sense, we expect Jet to be big part of the team moving forward. Jet is looking to play at the Tier 1/ Tier 2 Junior or College level in the future.

 

 

#35 Andrew Nash

Hometown: Littleton, Colorado 1997

Nash, a 5'10 165 pound goalie from Parker, Colorado played last year in the Colorado High School League and had a record of 15 wins and 13 losses with Goals Against Average of 2.16, is the first goalie signed by Wichita. Andrew came down for a visit in June and played with the Junior team in the RiverFest tournament and decided Wichita was place for him next year. "I was introduced to Drew from Eric Larson, the father of Former players Jake and Tyler, he spoke to Drew and his family about our program and everything fell into place after his visit. Drew was solid in goal and was athletic during the tournament, so we thought he would be able to step right in and competed for the starting job here in Wichita", comment coach Weingartner.

 

 

#34 Alex Smith

Hometown: Wichita, KS 1996

6'2 190 lb, Right Handed Defenseman

 

 

#37 Tyler Crites

Hometown: MI 1996

6'1 190lb, Right Handed Defenseman

 

 

 

 

#16 Alec Risser

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas 1997

6'1 165lb, Left handed Forward

 

Alec Risser is another product of the Wichita Warriors high school hockey team, looking to make his mark as a Junior Thunder player. Alec is 6’1, 160 pound forward that can play center or wing, he played in the Mid America High School Hockey League scoring 6 goals and had 11 assists for 17 points in 24 games at the Varsity level last season. This is what coach Weingartner had to say about Alec, “We used Alec mainly as a practice player last year although he did suit up for one game when we were struggling with injuries. I really feel that by getting him used to the speed in practice last year, he will have a lot more confidence this year as well as having a familiarity with how I run practices. I hope some Varsity players this year, that plan on making the jump to junior hockey, follow in Alec’s footsteps. Like over a handful of current players that have made the  jump to Junior Hockey from the Warrior organization, Alec who is a good skater, will need to focus on gaining some confidence and continue to build core strength in order to have a successful rookie season in the WSHL”.

 

 

#84 Kris Tountas

Hometown: Mundelein, Illionis 1995

6'1 190 lb, Right Handed Forward, Assistant Captain

 

Kris is in his second year with the Junior Thunder having only played 18 games last season registering 5 assists, due to a couple of injuries. Kris again sustained an injury in the first game this season has played the last 6 games along side Jack McClelland and his play has been solid. Kris is a power forward that has trendous speed to go with a very physical style. His work ethic and his maturity from the first season helped the coaching staff make him a easy choice for assistant captain this year. Kris will need to continue to work on the mental aspect of playing and keep his work ethic right wear it is at in order to become an elite player at this level. Kris who had  great showings at a couple different camps in the USHL and NAHL this past summer, will be looking to continue his hockey career at a higher Junior or College Level.

 

 

 

#88 Peter Cicmanec

Hometown: Frievidza, Slovakia 1996

6'1 190 lb, Left Handed Forward

 

Peter is in his first season at the Junior A level in North America after competing with fellow teamate Ivan Brvenik last season with the Atlanta Fire, a AAA U18 team. Peter is an extremely talentanted young forward from Slovakia that posses all the offensive attributes coaches long for at this level. He has been tops of the team and league in scoring all year and we have no reason to think he will slow down. Still adjusting to the physical play in North America, Peter at 6'1 190 lbs, has the size and skill to wear opponents down. Peter is looking to play at the Tier1/ Tier2 Junior level next season.

#92 Ondrej Misovic

Hometown: Slovakia 1996

6'3 185, Left Handed Defenseman

 

Ondrej Misovic, a ‘96 birth year, is listed at 6’3, 185 pounds and is a left handed defenseman from Ilava, Slovakia. Last season Ondrej saw action in 9 games at the U20 Junior level while playing for Hockey Club Topolcany, prior to that he played 73 games over two seasons at the U18 level for HK Dubnica. “Ondrej was described to me as a good skating, solid defenseman that has a lot of potential. We have had a lot of success bringing over Imports from Slovakia, so I’m guessing Ondrej will step right in and fill a top four defensive responsibility”, commented coach Weingartner.

 

 

 

#24 Matt McClelland

Hometown: Oshawa, Canada 1997

6' 155 lb, Left Handed Forward

 

Matt is a skilled forward that played 33 games last year, he ended up with 4 goals and 5 assists and had 13 penalty minutes. “Matt mainly filled a third line role last year but has the offensive ability to be a top centerman for us here in Wichita, I am expecting a break out year for Matt. He was unfortunate that he sustained an injury in the last quarter of the season because he was starting to come into his own, he did come back in time to get some valuable play-off experience”, commented coach Weingartner. Matt, like his twin brother Max will be entering their Senior year at Maize High School and will be in their second year wearing a Junior Thunder Uniform .Matt who will be looking to play a couple more years at the Junior level before moving on to the College ranks.

 

 

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