KENT, August 30, 2017 — Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Russ Farwell has announced the signing of four players to WHL Standard Player Agreements.
Centers Graeme Bryks, goalie Cole Schwebius, defenseman Cade McNelly and center Samuel Huo.
All four players are eligible to play in the T-Birds first preseason game on Friday against the Vancouver Giants at the Delta Hotels Preseason Classic at Xfinity Arena.
Bryks, from Edmonton, Alberta, was the T-Birds eighth round selection in the 2016 Bantam Draft. Last season he played 32 games with the Knights of Columbus Pats Midget AAA team in the AMHL and had 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points with 36 penalty minutes.
“It is always great to have players come in and show that they have done the extra work in preparation to try to make the team,” said Farwell. “Graeme is one of those players and he is making a strong bid to play on our team as a 16-year old this season. He is a gritty two-way center that can make smart plays in the offensive end and step in and really help out in his own end.”
Schwebius, from Kelowna, British Columbia, was the T-Birds 10th round selection in the 2016 Bantam Draft. Last season he played for the Okanagan Hockey Academy Elite 15 team in the CSSHL. Schwebius had a 1.93 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in 17 games.
“Cole has had a strong camp so far and his signing gives us some comfort and depth at this important position,” said Farwell. “He has a great attitude and has improved steadily since the Bantam draft.”
McNelly, from Westlock, Alberta, was an invite to T-Birds Training Camp prior to the 2016-17 season. He was added to the team’s 50-player protected list after that Training Camp. Last season McNelly played 20 games with the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers Midget AAA team and had three assists and 60 penalty minutes.
“Cade plays a style and approaches the game much like Turner Ottenbreit,” said Farwell. “Everyone on the other team will know when he is out there and over the years he will be a fan favorite here in Kent. Good, physical defense is hard to find and Cade has the chance to be formidable in that area.”
Huo, from Richmond, British Columbia, was an invite to T-Birds Training Camp this season. Last year he played 28 games with the Burnaby Winter Club Elite 15 team in the CSSHL. Huo had 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points with 20 penalty minutes last season.
“We are excited to sign Sam and get him started with our team,” said Farwell. “He dominated sessions of our rookie camp and will develop into a very exciting offensive center in our league.”