Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Another Mile High Signing

The season may have just ended a month ago, but the Seattle Thunderbirds continue to sign prospects in preparation for the 2013-14 season and beyond. The latest addition is Scott Eansor, a 17 year old center/winger from Denver who comes out of the same program (Colorado Thunderbirds) as current T-birds, defenseman Griffin Foulk and goaltender Danny Mumaugh.

Eansor was listed by the Thunderbirds late last spring. While he didn't attend training camp with the club in the fall, he did spend a few days in late March practicing with the team prior to the start of this year's WHL playoffs. Much like Mumaugh and current defenseman Jerett Smith did a year ago, Eansor liked what he saw from those few practices and made the decision to sign with Seattle. Like Eansor, both Mumaugh and Smith were listed players that spent some practice time with the T-birds late in the 2011-12 season and signed with the T-birds shortly there after.

Eansor brings the number of prospects signed by Seattle in the last couple of months to four. The biggest signing, of course, is Mathew Barzal, who inked his agreement earlier this month. Barzal was the first overall draft pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, but the T-birds have also recently inked 2012 fifth round pick Lane Pederson, a forward out of Saskatoon, and 2011 2nd round selection, defenseman Austin Douglas from Winnipeg. Don't forget that shortly after the 2012 draft Seattle signed three other top prospects, winger Keegan Kolesar, defenseman Ethan Bear and goalie Logan Flodell.

Eansor is described by Seattle General Manager Russ Farwell as a tenacious, hard-working player who is strong on the forecheck. He also helps strengthen the 1996 born age group on the T-birds roster. While Seattle is top heavy with '94 and '95 born players (seven each) and has already signed five '97 born players, prior to this recent signing activity, the '96 born age group had only three players in the fold, Mumaugh, winger Michal Holub and defenseman Kevin Wolf. Douglas and Eansor brings the number of 96 born prospects signed to five. Again, the T-birds have other prospects from that age group on their radar but not signed yet, so the Eansor signing is important, especially since Holub was the only '96 born forward already in the fold.

Now the T-birds are presented with one of those "good problems" to have. They have, by my calculation, 16 signed forwards (normally carry 13-14), 10 signed defensemen (normally carry 7-8) and four signed goalies (normally carry two). This doesn't account for any other players who might sign between now and the time camp opens in August or a camp invitee who impresses enough to be considered for a roster spot. While there is always the possibility of an offseason trade to alleviate some of the congestion, the Thunderbirds now have more signed players then they have available roster spots for the 2013-14 season. This should make for one of the most competitive training camps in recent memory.

In memory of Bruce McDonald, 1971-2012

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