On Thursday, August 20th, the Adirondack Thunder announced the signing of forward Nick Rivera to a standard player agreement for the upcoming season. “It’s even better now that he’s got a year’s experience in Wheeling, and it’s a good situation all around,” said Alex Loh, Head Coach of the Thunder. He also mentioned that Rivera start the season at the AHL level, as he will join the Utica Comets for training camp.
In addition, Loh would go on to note that a handful of teams were looking to trade for the 25-year-old, including the Wheeling Nailers, who he claims were willing to give up a lot for the left-handed shooter.
Rivera Heading Back To Glens Falls
Rivera was among the players who signed with the Adirondack before the Thunder withdrew from the 2020-21 season. Spending the campaign with the Nailers, the California native amassed 29 goals, recording 14 goals, while adding 15 assists. These totals don’t come as a shock seeing as Rivera was a double-digit goal scorer in his final two years Minnesota State University. There, he spent two seasons as co-captain of the Mavericks, a big feat for any college hockey player.
Spending his four-year collegiate tenure with them, Rivera, through 151 contests, amassed 60 points on 34 goals and 26 assists. Rivera also won three NCAA regular-season championships in Minnesota. Weighing in at five-foot-ten and 190 pounds, Rivera is one of the smaller players signed by Adirondack for next season. This is another strong signing for the Thunder, who continue shaping into an exciting franchise. Coach Loh compares Rivera to a Conor Riley-type player, but without the extracurriculars.
Mazza Joins Thunder
Just a week after signing Nick Rivera for 2021-22, the Thunder announced the signing of defenseman Jimmy Mazza to a standard player agreement. Mazza joins the team in Glens Falls after spending 2019-20 with the Reading Royals. There, the Kings Park, NY native amassed a single point, tallying one assist. Mazza was among a handful of players who didn’t play professionally during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite being a new face to the hockey club, there is already some familiarity, seeing as both Mazza and Nick Hutchison attended Canisius College together. As Loh mentioned during his Facebook Live appearance, Mazza is a great addition, both on and off the ice. “He’s a great guy, unbelievable human being, a really great person to have in the locker room, and then on the ice, he’s a big right-shot defenseman that is willing to play tough and is a great addition for us.”
Mazza becomes the third blue liner to sign with the Thunder following the earlier signings of Blake Thompson and Charlie Curti, both of whom will return to the team come puck drop in October.