Wednesday, 01.25.2017 / 9:40 am CT
By Alex von Keudell / Photo: Tracey Koby
Wildcats left-winger Jonathan Bendorf has been acquired by the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League.
“I loved every second of playing here,” Bendorf said. “Everyone on the team made me feel right at home. I look forward to this opportunity to play for Tri-City and I hope the Wildcats bring home the Robertson Cup this year.”
Bendorf left for Kearney, Nebraska yesterday to join the defending Clark Cup Champions and former Wildcat Adam Goodsir, who opened the scoring for the Storm in last night’s 6-1 stomping over the Omaha Lancers. Bendorf is expected to play this weekend against the Team USA development program.
The 17-year-old Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute commit was a power play specialist for the Wildcats this season, leading the team with 13 points on the man advantage. In total, Bendorf tallied 13 goals, 11 assists, 24 points and a -3 rating while in Wichita Falls.
The Wildcats’ first-round draft pick will surely be missed, both for his skillset and for his character. He’s somebody who truly enjoys the game and has a knack for keeping the mood light and lifting his teammates’ spirits.
No decision has been made in terms of a replacement, though Wildcats Head Coach Josh Nelson believes the timing of Affiliate Player Wyatt Mathews’ visit may be impeccable. “We ran with eight defensemen last year, and things worked out pretty well for us,” Nelson said. “More importantly, Wyatt has proven he can play at this level. We’re confident in him.”
With Mathews on board, the Cats are back to a 23-man roster. The trade deadline is a mere two weeks away, so we may yet see a roster shakeup or two. But first, Nelson will have the opportunity to test the waters against the South Division’s top teams over the next fortnight.