Thunder Acquires ECHL All-Star From Reading

Thursday, August 3 2017 9:56 AM

Wichita, KS (Aug. 3rd) - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, AHL's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, announced today that the team has acquired forward Justin Crandall from the Reading Royals for the rights to defenseman Nolan Zajac. Crandall has also been signed to a contract for the 2017-18 season.

"I really enjoyed my time in Reading and can't thank my coaches and teammates enough for a great year," said Crandall. "However I am extremely excited to get a fresh start and join the Thunder this year. I've heard nothing but great things about the organization and Coach Cameron. From the players already signed it looks like we should have a really strong team and I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and getting the season started!"

Crandall, 25, comes to the Air Capital after playing the last two seasons for the Royals. The Lakeville, Minnesota native finished second on the team in scoring with 58 points (22g, 36a). He represented Reading at the 2017 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic and was selected as an alternate captain. In his first two years as a pro, Crandall has recorded at least 50 points, netting 55 (17g, 38a) during his rookie campaign in 2015-16. Overall, he has 116 points (40g, 76a) in 124 ECHL games.

"Justin is a dynamic offensive threat and has a very high hockey IQ," commented Head Coach Malcolm Cameron. "With the players we have signed and expect to get from our affiliate, he will fit in nicely."

Prior to turning pro, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward played a four-year career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. During the 2013-14 season, he tied for the team-lead in goals scored (14), tied for second in scoring (27), led the team in shooting percentage (18.4%), power play goals (6), plus/minus (+8) and was selected to the WCHA/NCHC All-Academic Team. He served as an alternate captain during his senior season in 2014-15. Overall, he collected 79 points (40g, 39a) in 145 career games for the Bulldogs.

Crandall becomes the 10th player announced this offseason and joins Matt DeBlouw, Dyson Stevenson, Jeremy Beaudry, Travis Ewanyk, Etienne Boutet, Justin Hamonic, Istvan Sofron, Louick Marcotte and Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin on the roster.

The 26th season of Thunder hockey kicks off on Friday, October 13th against the Indy Fuel.

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