The Newfoundland Growlers have a new defenceman, and as might have been expected, he’s attending the training camp of their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.
The ECHL’s Growlers have signed 25-year-old Kyle Thacker, who is coming off a four-year collegiate career at Potsdam University in N.Y., where he was captain of the Bears.
The 6-2, 205-pound native of Mississauga, Ont., is a tryout player at the Marlies’ training camp, where he is joined by five others — forwards Marcus Power and Semyon Babintsev, defencemen James Melindy and Kristians Rubins, and goalie Michael Garteig — who are signed directly by the Growlers.
A fourth defenceman — former NHLer Adam Pardy — has signed an ECHL contract with the Growlers, but isn't taking part in the Marlies' camp. Pardy told The Telegram he had no interest in attending.
In 91 games over four years at Potsdam, Thacker had eight goals and 33 assists, along with 52 penalty minutes.
After graduating this past spring, he played his first professional contests, appearing in four games with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers.
The Growlers’ training camp begins next week and includes exhibition games against the Brampton Beast in Stephenville (Oct. 4), Deer Lake (Oct. 5) and Clarenville (Oct. 7).
Sales of Growlers season tickets and 12-game ticket packages are underway, with single-game sales set to start Saturday.
The Growlers play their first-ever ECHL regular-season game Oct. 12, against the Florida Everblades at Mile One Centre.