In 31 games at the AAA Bantam level last season, Brown contributed 41 points for his Lions team including 18 goals.
Young players for the four Western Hockey League teams in Washington will be exempted from certain labor laws that would have restricted their practice, conditioning, playing time and made them subject to the minimum wage.
With the exchange of overage players, Seattle remains set at the limit of three. In addition to Watson, the Thunderbirds are expected to return 20-year-old defensemen Jared Hauf and Jerret Smith.
The Thunderbirds selected Elijah Brown, a forward from Edmonton, Alberta, with their first round pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft Thursday. Brown scored 18 goals and delivered 23 assists in 31 games in Bantam this season.
The 20-year-old Kozun had the best season of his junior hockey career by posting a .915 save percentage and 2.41 goals against average in 60 games.
The offseason is of vital importance to Seattle, a team that played 11 rookies over the course of the 2014-15 season. All are expected back for the 2015-16 campaign including goaltender Logan Flodell who will be counted on, at least in part, to replace WHL Top Goaltender finalist Taran Kozun.
Seattle’s first-round playoff exit precipitated a sudden turn of the page to the 2015-16 season. Evan Wardley is one of a quartet of players moving on in their respective hockey careers, while potentially 11 first-year players return for their sophomore seasons with the Thunderbirds.
Tyszka was Seattle’s first-round pick (16 overall) in the 2014 Bantam Draft. He joins a defense unit which returns Ethan Bear, Jared Hauf, Jerret Smith, Turner Ottenbreit and Sahvan Khaira for next season.
Bill Swartz sits down with Seattle Thunderbirds Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk and Thunderbirds radio play by play announcer Thom Beuning to recap the playoffs and look ahead to next season.
The Winterhawks handed Seattle a 5-4 defeat in Game 6 of their first-round series. The loss meant the end of a handful of Thunderbirds’ careers, including that of defenseman Shea Theodore.
In the first game of a two-night doubleheader with the first-place Silvertips, Seattle held on for a 3-2 shootout victory. Forward Roberts Lipsbergs had two goals and goaltender Taran Kozun stopped 21 shots in regulation and overtime and another seven shootout attempts.
A hat trick by star forward Oliver Bjorkstrand carried Portland past the Thunderbirds for the third time in the last four matchups between the two squads. The loss put Seattle nine points behind their division rival for second place, a spot that guarantees home-ice advantage in the first round of the WHL playoffs.
Calgary’s Jake Virtanen had a goal and an assist while propelling the Hitmen past Seattle with three unanswered goals Tuesday. The Thunderbirds fell to 2-2 on their current six-game homestand with the 3-2 defeat.
Entering the weekend trailing first-place Everett by 11 points, the third-place Thunderbirds picked up three points with wins over Lethbridge and the Silvertips Friday and Saturday at the ShoWare Center. Head coach Steve Konowalchuk has his team peaking at the right time with the playoffs approaching.
Victoria jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period against a lackluster Seattle squad Sunday. Goaltender Taran Kozun was later lifted, but the damage had been done.
Seattle (28-20-3-3) overcame six penalties and a late deficit to upset Kelowna, the Western Hockey League’s best team, Tuesday at the ShoWare Center. Defenseman Jerret Smith scored the game-winning goal 16:26 into the third period.
Seattle won its fourth consecutive game in a 3-0 shutout of Vancouver Saturday behind 38 saves by goaltender Taran Kozun and two points by star center Mathew Barzal. The team has won five of its last six games and appears to be playing its best hockey as the season enters the final weeks.