The Thunder Cats made a move Wednesday sending veteran two way forward Tyler Hamilton to Summerland in exchange for some much-needed offensive help in Tyler Badger. Badger, despite being only 18 years old, is playing his 3rd year in the KIJHL. Tyler has amassed 39 points in his 80 games in Osoyoos, Nelson and Summerland and provides the Thunder Cats with some grit with an offensive upside.
General Manager and Head Coach Bill Rotheisler commented: “Moving on with Tyler (Hamilton) was exceedingly difficult, this is a player who has played at the major midget level and has experience in the league. To get a player of Badger’s caliber and experience you must give up something similar. Tyler and his family gave allot to the Thunder Cats organization over his time here, and we wish him the best with his new opportunity in Summerland”.
Badger spent last season in Nelson, where he was moved to Summerland in arguably the biggest multi-player move of the 2020 offseason. Current Thunder Cats players who are familiar with Badger are excited to see him join the group. Alternate Captain Vin Jackson, who played with Badger says that he is “a skilled forward that brings KI experience to our forward group, he can play on both sides of the puck and brings a physical side to the game as well”.
Prior to junior hockey, Badger spent time with Okanagan Hockey Academy. Familiar territory for Head Coach Bill Rotheisler. “Certainly, his pedigree and experience, speaks to his understanding of the day in and day out grind of being a full-time hockey player. In addition, with our need for offense but demand on players to be tough to play against, Tyler was a perfect fit. Specifically. He is somebody that immediately improves our left side and creates additional competition down that side”.
Thunder Cats goaltender Harmon Laser-Hume shared ice with him over the summer and explains that he is “really good to be around and he has a hell of a shot”.
Badger will wear #36 for the Thunder Cats as soon as play resumes.