(ISN) – KENT, August 28, 2014 – Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Russ Farwell today
announced the team has signed five players to WHL Standard Player Agreements.
The five players are right wing Wyatt Bear, defenseman Reece Harsch, right wing
Nick Holowko, right wing Luke Osterman and center Mackenzie Wight. All five players
took part in the recently concluded T-Birds training camp.
All five players are eligible to play in the T-Birds first preseason game on Friday
against the Tri-City Americans at the Everett Silvertips Holiday Inn Preseason Classic
at Comcast Arena. Game time is 11:30am.
Bear, from Hodgson, Manitoba, was the T-Birds’ fifth round selection, 102nd overall,
in the 2014 Bantam Draft. Last season he played 33 games with the Interlake Lightning
in the Winnipeg Bantam Division 1 and had 18 goals and 33 assists for 51 points.
“Wyatt had a very good camp and has huge potential to be an impact player in the
WHL. His skill set combined with a big physical frame gives him a great platform
to develop into a very good player,” said Farwell.
Harsch, from Grand Prairie, Alberta, was the T-Birds’ eighth round selection, 170th
overall, in the 2014 Bantam Draft. Last season he played 33 games with Grand Prairie
in the AMBHL and had two goals and 12 assists for 14 points.
“Reece might have been our most pleasant surprise at camp this year. He played with
poise and real good common sense and we are excited about his potential to be a
very good defenseman for us in the future,” said Farwell.
Holowko, from Burnaby, British Columbia, was an invite to T-Birds Training Camp
prior to the 2012-13 season. He was added to the team’s 50-player protected list
after that Training Camp. Last season he played 33 games with North Delta in the
PaJHL and had two goals and nine assists for 11 points.
“Nick has been a very loyal and committed player for us since we listed him two
years ago. He has never varied in his desire to play for the Thunderbirds and with
his hard work this summer has shown he is now ready to challenge for a job,” said
Osterman, from Stillwater, Minnesota, was the T-Birds’ eighth round selection, 161st
overall, in the 2012 Bantam Draft. Last season he played 20 games for Omaha in the
NAPH16 League and had six goals and seven assists for 13 points. Osterman is the
seventh member of the 2012 draft class to sign with the T-Birds. He joins Mathew
Barzal (1st round-1st overall), Keegan Kolesar (1-20), Ethan Bear (2-25), Logan
Flodell (3-47), Lane Pederson (5-91) and Donovan Neuls (8-157).
“Luke has made an impressive conversion from defense to forward since coming to
training camp last year. He is a driven and focused player who brings a real physical
style to every shift he plays. He has earned his spot and will add grit to our team
for years to come,” said Farwell.
Wight, from Burnaby, was the T-Birds’ seventh round selection, 148th overall, in
the 2014 Bantam Draft. Last season he played for the Burnaby Winter Club in the
“Mackenzie had a very good camp and has proven to be a very good prospect to play
in the WHL in the future. He plays a physical, agitating style and can add offense
as well. We are excited to bring him on board as a Thunderbird for the future,”
The Thunderbirds have a seven-game preseason schedule. The T-Birds will play in
the Everett Silvertips Holiday Inn Preseason Classic at Comcast Arena. The first
game will be Friday, August 29, at 11:30 a.m. against the Tri-City Americans. Classic
play will continue with games on Saturday, August 30, at 3 p.m. against the Victoria
Royals. The Classic concludes Sunday, August 31, at 3 p.m. against the Spokane Chiefs.
The T-Birds next preseason appearance will be in Kennewick at the Red Lion Hotels’
Preseason Tournament at the Toyota Center. The T-Birds will play the Spokane Chiefs
on Thursday, September 4, at 3:00 p.m. and face the Everett Silvertips on Friday,
September 5, at 11:00 a.m.
The T-Birds close out the preseason schedule with a home-and-home series against
the Everett Silvertips. The T-Birds visit Everett on Friday, September 12, for
a 7:35 puck drop against the Silvertips. The T-Birds then make their only pre-season
appearance at ShoWare Center on Saturday, September 13 for a 7:05pm contest against