The Adirondack Thunder announced on Wednesday that they have extended qualifying offers to seven players which are made up of four forwards and three defensemen. Those players are as follows: Kelly Summers (D), Jake Linhart (D), Blake Thompson (D), James Phelan (F), John Edwardh (F), Robbie Payne (F) and Conor Riley (F).
What This Means For The Thunder
Jake Linhart and Kelly Summers were the two most interesting defensemen for the Thunder last season. Linhart started the season on IR and had trouble staying in the lineup as he found himself as a healthy scratch a handful amount of times. He finished the season playing in 51 games where he put up five goals and 18 assists, this making for a total of 23 points. Summers had a solid season in the Thunder and was called up to the AHL during the season but when the season ended found himself on the Thunder roster. He finished with 10 goals and 15 assists for 24 points in 54 games with Adirondack and Binghamton.
The forward group is very interesting especially seeing that the biggest name on the list in John Edwardh. The 25-year-old forward was traded back to Adirondack from the Cincinnati Cyclones in a three-team trade. In 23 games with the Thunder, he put up six goals and 15 assists, this making for a total of 21 points. Edwardh put up 22 points in 33 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones. He should bring some well-needed offence to the Thunder next season.
Robbie Payne is another offensive firepower and was named to the ECHL All-Star game, but was unable to play due to a hand injury. That hand injury limited him only 44 games where he put up 12 goals and 20 points for 32 points. As a result of this, he’ll be looking to redeem himself next season.
Speaking of players who missed a substantial amount of time with injuries, let’s take a look at Conor Riley. Riley had a 20 goal campaign in 2018-19, but an injury limited him to only 39 games where he put up nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points.
In addition to these qualifying offers, head coach Alex Loh announced that some players won’t be returning next season. Forward Nikita Popugaev won’t be back next season as he’s heading home to Russia while Casey Pierro-Zabotel will be heading to Europe. However, he did make note that Alex Carrier will be back next season. Qualifying offers are open from today through to July 16th.