Thunder Receives Six From Bakersfield

Monday, September 30 2019 12:56 PM

Wichita, KS (Sept. 30th) - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, AHL's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, announced several transactions today that involve players coming to Wichita from the Condors.

Luke Shiplo, Fabrizio Ricci and Brendan De Jong have been released from their tryout agreements with Bakersfield and returned to Wichita. Additionally, Steven Iacobellis (YAHK-ah-bell-is) and Beau Starrett have been loaned to the Thunder from Bakersfield. Finally, Ostap Safin has been assigned to Wichita by the Edmonton Oilers.

Iacobellis, 26, recently completed his second year as a pro. The Port Coquitlam, British Columbia native qualified as a rookie last season as he was limited to 16 games in 2017-18 after suffering an injury in December.

He led the team in scoring this past year with 65 points (23g, 42a) in 58 games. Iacobellis finished fourth in the league in power play points (27), third in assists for a rookie (42) and tied for second in points for a rookie (65). He was also named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team and was named as the 2019 Wichita Professional Athlete of the Year.

Starrett, 23, is entering his first year as a pro. A native of Bellingham, Massachusetts, he signed with Bakersfield in the offseason after completing a four-year career at Cornell University. Starrett is a former third round pick (#88 overall) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-5, 212-pound forward is the younger brother of former Thunder netminder and current Bakersfield Condor, Shane Starrett.

In 118 games at Cornell, he tallied 40 points (16g, 24a) and helped the Big Red to three consecutive postseason appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He also scored in the team's 2019 first round win over Northeastern. He reunites with former teammate Brendan Smith, who also played at Cornell.

Safin, 20, begins his pro career after playing the last two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the Saint John Sea Dogs and Halifax Mooseheads. A native of Praha, Czech Republic, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound forward was drafted by the Oilers in the fourth round (#117 overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

His best year during his junior career came in 2017-18 when he netted 58 points (26g, 32a) in 61 games for the Sea Dogs. He also saw time in nine games for the Condors that year, scoring his first AHL goal. Overall, he finished with 69 points (28g, 40a) in 76 QMJHL games. He was also a member of the 2016-17 Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal Winning team for the Czech Republic.

The Thunder will open the season at home on Friday and Saturday, October 11th and 12th and will host the 2020 Warrior Hockey/ECHL All-Star Classic, presented by Toyota, on Wednesday January 22nd, 2020. Get your tickets now for the league's annual showcase that features some of the best young talent across the ECHL by clicking here.

Season tickets for the 2019-20 season are on sale now. Get your seats for just $34 per month. All it takes is a $1 deposit per seat to reserve yours today. To learn more, click here or contact a Thunder representative at the office today!

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-Thunder-