(1090 The Fan) — The Thunderbirds used the final days of June to continue to shape their potential 2015-16 roster. Successive moves Monday and Tuesday saw the team add defenseman Brandon Schuldhaus and import center Gustav Olhaver.
Schuldhaus, 17, was Seattle’s fifth round Bantam Draft choice in 2013. In 31 games with Shattuck-St. Mary’s Midget AAA team he had five goals and seven assists.
The T-Birds were able to get a close look at Schuldhaus when he practiced with the team during their first-round playoff series with Portland.
“Brandon is a very good skater with great size,” Seattle general manager Russ Farwell said in a statement. “He will be a good addition to our defense with the potential to develop into a top WHL defenseman.”
Seattle was thin on the blue line entering the summer thanks to the losses of Shea Theodore and Evan Wardley, each moving on from the junior hockey level. The additions of Schuldhaus brings Seattle’s stable of defensemen to six.
Olhaver, 18 of Sweden, was selected by Seattle with the 44th overall pick in the 2015 CHL Import Draft Tuesday. The Swede is listed at 6-foot-6 and 213 pounds by one scouting service which says the lanky center has “coordinated skating for his body and decent puck skill” and that he “loves to inhabit the front of the net.”
“I am real excited to come to Seattle and develop as a player,” Olhaver said in a statement released by the team. I can play a physical game and am smart with the puck.”
In 18 games in U-18 leagues in Sweden last year, Olhaver scored 14 goals and had 11 assists. Olhaver also competed for team Sweden in the 2015 World Junior Championship scoring one goal in five games. He was drafted by Colorado in the seventh round of the recently completed NHL Draft.
“We are excited to add an NHL-drafted player with his size where we were picking in the draft,” Farwell said in the statement. “We feel Gustav will step in and help our team right away.”
Each Western Hockey League team has two roster spots available to non-North American players or “imports.” These players must be drafted in the CHL Import Draft in order to be able to play. Olhaver joins center Alexander True, a 6-foot-4 center from Denmark, as the T-Birds’ two imports.
Seattle opens the season Friday, September 25 at Vancouver.
– Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
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