Kuzmeski, Walker Return To Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (July 8) – The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, AHL’s San Jose Barracuda and powered by Toyota, announced today the re-signing of defenseman Shane Kuzmeski and forward Kobe Walker for the 2024-25 campaign.

Kuzmeski, 28, was acquired in a trade last January from the Florida Everblades. A native of Grayslake, Illinois, the 6-foot-1, 196-pound blueliner appeared in 35 games for the Thunder, collecting eight points (1g, 7a) and led the team in plus/minus (+20 overall, +14 with the Thunder).

Kuzmeski returns with plenty of ECHL experience having played for Wheeling, Iowa, Utah, Indy and Trois-Rivieres. Overall, he’s tallied 60 points (11g, 49a) in 163 career ECHL games.

Prior to turning pro, he spent four years at Clarkson University. Kuzmeski helped anchor one of the best defensive corps in college hockey. In three of his four seasons, Clarkson ranked in the NCAA’s top five in fewest goals allowed. Kuzmeski helped the Golden Knights to an ECAC Championship during his junior season and was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team as a senior.

Walker, 26, joined the Thunder last February after completing a five-year collegiate career at RIT. A native of Lloydminster, Alberta, the 5-foot-9, 172-pound forward finished with 16 points (8g, 8a) in 25 games. Walker was recommended to Head Coach Bruce Ramsay by former Thunder star Travis Clayton, who coached him in junior hockey.

Prior to turning pro, Walker recorded 80 points (40g, 40a) in 142 career games at RIT. He was also named as an alternate captain during the 2021-22 season and served as the team’s captain last year. During his senior campaign, Walker had a career-high 23 points (12g, 11a) in 31 games and helped lead the Tigers to an AHA Regular season title. Walker is related to former NHL netminder, Braden Holtby.

The 2024-25 schedule is now available. Start planning now as we get ready for our 33rd year in the Air Capital. Click HERE to learn more about the schedule and who we play.

Season tickets for the 2024-25 season now on sale. Save money by reserving your seats for all the fast-paced, hard-hitting action of every game. Click HERE to learn more.