The Seattle Thunderbirds have acquired the rights to defenseman Mike Koster, an eighth-round pick in the 2019 Bantam Draft, and a conditional future bantam pick from the Calgary Hitmen for goalie Carl Stankowski and a conditional future bantam pick.
“Carl’s medical needs have become very significant and we felt that being close to his home in Calgary would allow his family to more closely monitor his needs,” said general manager Bil La Forge. “Carl was a very important part of the team winning the 2017 Western Hockey League championship and we thank him for all his contributions to the Thunderbirds.”
Koster, from Chaska, Minn., is a 2001 born, left-handed defenseman who played for the Tri-City Storm in the USHL last season. He appeared in 21 games with the Storm and had two goals and eight assists for 10 points.
“Koster is an elite defenseman that is NCAA committed,” La Forge said. “We feel that we will provide him with a very viable option going forward. We look forward to opening the lines of communication with him.”
Stankowski’s rookie season with the T-Birds was in 2016-17. He appeared in seven games and was 3-0-0-1 with a 2.18 goals against average and a .910 save percentage.
An injury to goalie Rylan Toth just before the start of the 2017 WHL playoffs put Stankowski in the top goalie spot. He backstopped the T-Birds to the 2017 WHL championship, playing every minute of all 20 playoff games. He finished the 2017 playoffs with a 16-4 record with a 2.50 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.
Stankowski did not play in the 2017-18 season due to injury.
The Thunderbirds start the 2018-19 WHL regular season against the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 6:05 p.m. at the accesso ShoWare Center.
Season tickets for 2018-19 season are on sale and may be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
Single-game tickets go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. online on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office.