Thunder, Defenseman Kevin Noble Agree to Terms
Blueliner is sixth player from last season to return to Thunder
The Stockton Thunder, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League, has agreed to terms with defenseman Kevin Noble, Thunder head coach and director of hockey operations Rich Kromm announced today. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Kevin brings character and a tremendous amount of potential as a rugged, physical and smart ‘stay-at-home’ defenseman,” said Kromm. “His time here last season was valuable to understand the nuances and responsibilities of the professional level. We’re confident that he’ll continue to develop into a tremendous asset for our blueline.”
Noble, 26, returns as the sixth Thunder player with experience from last season’s team that advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals. He skated in 24 games and collected three assists with 70 penalty minutes despite missing the final 12 regular-season games and entire postseason due to injury.
The 6-foot-1, 201-pound defenseman made his professional debut in the Central Hockey League with the Missouri Mavericks during the 2012 postseason and was +4 in nine games. Previously, he skated in 139 career games at Mercyhurst University (NCAA) and notched 51 points and a +9 rating. Noble served as captain for Mercyhurst as a 2011-12 senior when he racked up a career high 20 points in 40 games.
“Coming back was an easy decision and it really excites me to reunite with the city of Stockton, the fans and plenty of teammates from last year who are hungry to build on postseason success,” said Noble. “It was tough not being in the playoff lineup due to injury but being around the experience was tremendous. I got to know Coach Kromm from working hockey schools in British Columbia and respect his knowledge and demeanor. His qualities are up there with any coach I’ve had the opportunity to play for.”
Noble was originally acquired by the Thunder on Oct. 17, 2012 from the Greenville Road Warriors in exchange for defenseman Rob Kwiet.
The Thunder opens the regular season at home for “Opening Night,” with the unveiling of the Western Conference championship banner on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. against the Colorado Eagles at Stockton Arena.