Wichita Announces Four Signings

Donaghy, Young Return to Thunder For Another Season

Wichita, KS (September 20th) – The Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League announced today that they have re-signed forward Dustin Donaghy and defenseman Kevin Young to the roster for the upcoming 2012-13 season. The Thunder also announced that they have agreed to terms with defenseman Kyle Radke and forward Don Melnyk.

Donaghy, 23, begins his third season as a pro and third in Wichita. He was acquired in a trade with the Allen Americans in mid-Jaunary of the 2010-11 season. Last year, Donaghy tallied eight goals and 14 points while collecting a career-high 68 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 196-pound winger made a huge impact for the Thunder as a rookie, notching 10 goals and 18 points in 33 games, including his first career hat-trick on January 23 versus Laredo. 

“I am excited to come back for a third year with the Thunder,” said Donaghy.  “I want to finish what we worked so hard for last year and win a Championship. I wouldn't want to play for another team, Wichita is a first class organization and we have the tools to continue to win and be the top team in the league this year.”

A native of Cranbrook, British Columbia, Donaghy played three seasons in the WHL.  He split the 2009-10 season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Spokane Chiefs, combining for 13 points and 98 penalty minutes in 66 games.  Donaghy's best season came with Spokane in 2008-09 where he scored 10 goals, 24 points, and tallied 129 penalty minutes.  Donaghy also played two seasons of junior hockey in his home province for the BCHL's Penticton Vees.    

Young, 30, joined the Thunder last March and provided stability on the blue line during last year’s playoff run. It didn’t take him long to contribute, notching two points in his first two games including the game-winning-goal on March 16th at Quad City. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound defenseman contributed four points in eight games during the regular season and tallied nine points during the playoffs.

“I am excited to take another run at a championship,” commented Young. “After getting so close last year, there is some unfinished business and with Coach McClelland; I know we will be knocking on the door again. The dedication and professionalism of the ownership made it an easy choice to come back.”

Entering his eighth pro season, the White Rock, British Columbia native played four seasons of junior hockey in the WHL from 1998-2002 with Medicine Hat, Portland and Kelowna.  He spent the 2002-03 season with the OHL’s Brampton Battalion and played two seasons of college hockey from 2003-05 at the University of New Brunswick. Young was awarded the Claire Drake Rookie of the Year in 2004.  He turned pro in 2005 with the Nijmegen Devils in the Netherlands, where he was a member of the League Champions. Young scored a career-high 65 points with Eindhoven Kemphanen and was named Netherlands Best Defenseman in 2010-11. He finished the season with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs where he won the 2011 CHL Championship.

Radke, 27, comes to the Thunder after spending two seasons with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. A native of Bashaw, Alberta, Radke begins his sixth season as a pro. He was one of the key members of the Killer Bees defense two seasons ago, appearing in 62 games before an injury sidelined him for the playoffs. A highly-skilled, stay-at-home defensemen, Radke also added four goals and 12 assists while racking up 171 penalty minutes. Last season, he appeared in just 27 games, but racked up 65 minutes in penalties before being placed on the IR.

“This is the most excited I’ve been in a long time to start a season,” said Radke. “I’ve always loved the intensity that the Thunder(and fans) bring to the ice and feel privileged to be asked to be a part of it. The thought of putting on a Thunder uniform has been extremely motivating this off-season and I’m looking forward to doing anything I can to help the Thunder take that next step this year.”

The 5-foot-11, 187-pounder enters his fifth pro season. In 2008-09, he played in 54 games for the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL and collected five points and 155 penalty minutes. The following year, Radke split 33 games between Idaho and Utah and posted two assists and 76 penalty minutes. Radke played four seasons at the University of North Dakota from 2004-08, appearing in 137 career games and helping the Fighting Sioux to four-straight Frozen Four appearances. He finished his career with seven goals, 20 assists and 284 penalty minutes, playing both at forward and on defense. Prior to his college career, Radke was named the Alberta Junior Hockey League Defenseman of the Year in 2003-04.

Melnyk, 26, has spent the last five seasons in the SPHL (Southern Professional Hockey League), playing in Richmond, Twin City, Knoxville and Louisiana. His best season came in 2008-09 when he racked up 51 assists and 77 points in 60 games. In 235 games in the SPHL, he has tallied 81 goals, 129 assists and 210 points. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward had a terrific junior career with the OCN Blizzard of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. In 2005-06, Melnyk racked up 57 assists, 98 points and 183 penalty minutes. A native of The Pas, Manitoba, Melnyk also suited up for the Laredo Bucks in 2006-07 picking up two assists in four games.

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