For the Reporter
The Seattle Thunderbirds signed center Kai Uchacz to a Western Hockey League Standard Player Agreement, general manager Bil La Forge announced Monday.
Uchacz, from De Winton, Alberta, was the T-Birds’ first-round selection, 10th overall, in the May 3 Bantam Draft in Red Deer, Alberta.
“This is a great day for the organization,” La Forge said. “Kai is a talented player who is an important building block for the future. We are excited to see him in uniform as early as our first preseason game.”
Uchacz had 25 goals and 17 assists for 42 points in 33 games with the Okotoks Oilers Bantam AAA team last season. He had eight goals and four assists in five games with Team South at the 2018 Alberta Cup.
“I’m excited,” Uchacz said. “Putting on the jersey for the first time is really amazing. I’m really looking forward to playing in my first WHL game with the T-Birds.”
Rick Uchacz added: “I’m extremely excited to be here and very proud of my son’s accomplishments and looking forward to his future in Seattle.”
Uchacz is the third member of the 2018 draft class to sign with the team. Conner Roulette, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the T-Birds’ second-second choice, signed on June 5. Mekai Sanders, from Gig Harbor, he team’s ninth-round pick, signed on June 19.
By signing a WHL Standard Player Agreement, Uchacz is guaranteed a WHL scholarship for every year he plays in the league. A player is able to attend any career-enhancing institution of his choice – including universities, colleges, technical institutes or trade schools – that will help the player achieve his academic and career goals.
For each season played in the WHL, a player receives a one-year post-secondary scholarship, which includes tuition, compulsory fees and required textbooks.
The T-Birds open the 2018-19 regular season against the Portland Winterhawks at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 at the accesso ShoWare Center.
For tickets and other information, visit seattlethunderbirds.com.