The Thunder Cats, prior to their final weekend before Christmas break, made a sequence of transactions. Notably, local product Vin Jackson and Tyler Badger were moved out, and multiple assets moved in.
The most recent trade sending 2002 born player Tyler Badger to his hometown of Osoyoos, BC while acquiring Luke Chakrabarti (’03) and Tanner Johnson (’03) addressed some immediate needs of the Thunder Cats regarding depth in their goaltending, and a dynamic forward to increase offense which prior to the trade had hit a stalemate.
In Badger, the Thunder Cats give up one of their best 2-way forwards. A gritty and aggressive player that sees the ice well.
On Badger, GM/Head Coach Bill Rotheisler stated, “These moves were made both out of necessity (trade requests) and to improve our room dynamic. Tyler is a great player, and his time as a Thunder Cat is greatly appreciated. It was simply time to go different directions”.
He continued on the new acquisitions: “We were firm on the quality of player and person we wanted in return, and I credit the Coyotes organization with working hard with us to complete a deal well before the January 10th deadline.
(Forward Luke) Chakrabarti fits the role we were looking for and immediately provides the boost and vision on the power play. Tanner (Johnson) is a polished goaltender that has exceptional numbers throughout his entire midget career and will be a symbiotic fit with (veteran goaltender) Siso”.
Luke Chakrabarti hails from South Surrey, BC, and is a graduate of the CSSHL spending time with Delta Hockey Academy, West Van Academy, and lastly St. Georges Academy where he spent the past two seasons at the Prep level, including as a 16-year-old being second in scoring on the team. Luke was signed at the beginning of the season to the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles and then signed with Osoyoos after being released to continue to develop his game.
Tanner Johnson, from Penticton, BC spent the past three seasons with Burnaby Winter Club, including two at the Prep level. In his last season, he had a 2.33 GAA and a .935 Save Percentage.
Earlier last week, Vin Jackson was moved to the Revelstoke Grizzlies for a trio of assets including Stavros Koutsantonis. Rotheisler states, “Stavros is a smart player who excels in his (own end of the ice) and is a great guy for our room. His underlying analytics are exceptionally strong, and he has a consistent history of being on winning and championship teams”.
Stavros Koutsantonis, from Kelowna, BC, spent time prior to Revelstoke in the Okanagan Rockets Major Midget program and won a championship with the U17 Rockets in 2019.
Stavros will be joining the Thunder Cats after the holiday break, while in their first weekend with the Thunder Cats including Chakrabarti with 3 points in 2 games, and Tanner Johnson going 1-0 with a 2.00 and .926%.
In addition, the Thunder Cats released Brendan Lloyd, who will be returning home to play in Calgary.
The Thunder Cats organization would like to thank Brendan, Tyler, and Vin for their time with the Thunder Cats. Especially former captain Vin Jackson who spent over three seasons with the program prior to his move to Revelstoke. “Vin is somebody that is very important to me personally as well as the organization. I empathize with his desire to play away from home and is a necessary next step in his own personal development. Thank you, Vin”.