A new face will join the Stockton Thunder’s depleted forward corps for the team’s stretch drive to the Kelly Cup playoffs.
The Thunder announced Friday (Mar. 1) that right wing Ryan Hayes has been obtained from the South Carolina Stingrays in exchange for future considerations.
Hayes, 23, is expected to be with the Thunder when the club visits the Ontario Reign on Saturday night. The same teams will meet again on Sunday at Stockton Arena.
Stockton’s lineup has been short at the forward positions recently because of injuries, recent promotions of players to the American Hockey League and a two-game suspension of captain Garet Hunt, who was disciplined by the ECHL for a hit from behind in a game last week. The shortage of forwards prompted the club to acquire Hayes, who has recorded 116 points (54 goals, 62 assists) in 158 career ECHL games.
“Ryan is a proven offensive player in our league,” Thunder Coach Matt Thomas said in a media release issued by the team. “With the recent transactions (involving) many of our top offensive players (due) to injury and recall to the AHL, we have been actively looking to add a player like Hayes. He is the type of player who consistently produces and can be a game-changer in tight games down the stretch.”
Hayes has posted 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 28 games in the ECHL this season while playing with the Stingrays and the Trenton Titans. He was Trenton’s second-leading scorer as a rookie during the 2010-’11 season, when he logged 50 points (23 goals, 27 assists) in 63 games.
Before becoming a pro, Hayes amassed 102 points (52 goals, 50 assists) in 132 career games while playing junior hockey for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. He also was named the Canadian Hockey League’s Humanitarian of the Year for his contributions to his community during the 2009-’10 season.
Hayes’ career statistics can be viewed here: