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Thunder Makes Trade, Adds Former NHL 1st Rounder

Wichita, KS- The Wichita Thunder today traded forward Jesse Bennefield to the Fort Wayne Komets for defenseman Craig Cescon (plus future considerations) and signed high-scoring forward Alex Bourret.

A sixth-year pro out of Mississauga, Ontario, Cescon (pronounced SESS-con) spent last season with the Fort Wayne Komets, notching six points and 174 penalty minutes in 60 games.  The 6-2, 195-pound stay-at-home defenseman previously spent two seasons with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, where he was a teammate of Thunder defenseman Travis Wight and played under former Thunder head coach Derek Laxdal.

Cescon is currently attending AHL camp with the Chicago Wolves.  In 199 pro games, he has notched 20 points and 564 penalty minutes.  Prior to turning pro, Cescon played four seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

A first round draft pick (16th overall) of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Bourret (pronounced BUHR-ray) will also be entering his sixth pro season.  Bourret was drafted by Atlanta out of the QMJHL where he enjoyed a stellar four-year junior career.  In 2005-06, his final junior season, Bourret piled up 44 goals and 114 points in just 67 games.

He began his pro career the following season in the AHL, splitting time between Chicago and the Hartford Wolf Pack, and scoring impressive rookie totals of 16 goals and 50 points in 68 games.  Following two more AHL seasons, Bourret has spent the last two years in the ECHL, notching 30 goals and 83 points in 78 games.  Over his North American pro career Bourret has compiled 180 points in 248 games.

Bourret will be a key piece of the Thunder offensive puzzle, filling in a space left by Bennefield’s departure.  Bennefield led the Thunder last season with 75 points in 66 games.

The Wichita Thunder will open their 20th CHL season on Friday, October 21 versus the Rapid City Rush and tickets are on sale now at the INTRUST Bank Arena Box Office, or by calling (316) 755-SEAT.  Tickets for Wichita’s exhibition games on October 14 and 15 versus the Tulsa Oilers are on sale now and can be purchased at the Thunder office, located at 505 W. Maple in the Wichita Ice Center.  For more information or to order season tickets, call the Thunder office at (316) 264-GOAL or visit us online at


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