Thunder Lands Free Agent Riendeau
Forward brings AHL experience, near point per game totals to Thunder offense
STOCKTON, Calif. – The Stockton Thunder, proud ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League, and head coach Matt Thomas announced the team has signed free agent right wing Yannick Riendeau (Ree-en-DOUGH, YANN-ick). Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Riendeau, 24, is scheduled to suit up for his debut with the Thunder on Friday at Las Vegas beginning at 7:05 p.m. (1280 KWSX/StocktonThunder.com).
“Yannick is a talented and crafty playmaker who has forged a reputation at our level as being a difference maker,” said Thomas. “His ability to compliment our offensive philosophy makes us very excited to get him. There’s familiarity he has with several players in our dressing room and it made perfect sense to add an elite player like him to our lineup.”
The 5-foot-10 and 186 pound forward has collected 93 points (34g-59a) in 103 career games at the ECHL level with the Reading Royals and earned a career high 45 points (13g-32a) in 43 games last season. He was a part of a Royals team that advanced to the Conference Finals in 2009-10 and has racked up 16 points in 18 career Kelly Cup Playoff games.
Riendeau has also skated in 46 career games in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins, picking up 11 points.
The native of Boucherville, Quebec boasted 337 career points in 298 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 2004-09 with Rouyn-Noranda and Drummondville and was a teammate of Thunder center Gabriel Levesque.
In his final season in 2008-09, Riendeau finished as the leading scorer in the Canadian Hockey League and was a CHL First All-Star Team selection with 126 points in 64 games with Drummondville. He also paced QMJHL playoff scoring and set a club record with 52 points in 19 postseason games, earning the “Guy Lafleur Trophy” as Playoff MVP.
“I’m happy to be joining the Thunder and was very encouraged after a great talk with Coach Thomas,” said Riendeau. “It’s nice to play with some guys you’ve already seen at previous levels. I’m confident about contributing with a skill set that’s needed for us to win consistently this season. I understand that playing well defensively is a responsibility here and can’t wait to get started.”
Originally signed by the Boston Bruins as a free agent, Riendeau’s rights were acquired by the New York Islanders on Feb. 27, 2012 with Marc Cantin in exchange for Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau.
A two time recipient of the ECHL “Award of Excellence,” the Thunder led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew over 200,000 fans for the seventh consecutive season in 2011-12. Season Tickets, Group Tickets and Mini-Plans for 2012-13 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit www.StocktonThunder.com.