AUSTIN MN, – The Bruins announced on Tuesday that they have acquired Defenseman Cole Thompson from the Aberdeen Wings in exchange for a 4th round pick in the 2017 NAHL Draft.
Thompson is a stay at home defenseman, who will fill a much needed role on a blue line that will have a largely new look from a season ago. Although he hasn’t racked up a lot of points, Thompson describes his style of play as one that has potential to add to the offense as well.
“I’m a defenseman that likes to get up ice, I like to be involved in the play,” Thompson said. “I like to take care of my end first – that’s priority number one but I like to get up the ice and get involved in the offense at the same time.”
Head coach Kyle Grabowski’s main focus this offseason has been improving the blue line in both directions along with filling the shoes of defensemen who either aged out or are expected to stick with USHL teams.
“Even as a younger guy on our roster [Thompson]’s got some game experience,” said Bruins head coach Kyle Grabowski. “We know he’s going to fit into what we do in the locker room and is going to buy in to what it takes to be a Bruin so we have certain expectations of him. Ultimately he makes us deeper on our blue line which is an area we want to improve going into this year.”
Thompson, a native of Devils Lake, North Dakota, played 45 games with the Wings in 2015-16, finishing a team best -3, while scoring one goal and adding two assists. He also has USHL experience, suiting up in two games with the Sioux Falls Stampede in 2014-15.
The Bruins and Wings played 12 times in 2015-16, so Thompson is very familiar with the Riverside Arena atmosphere.
“I remember it was always tough going into Riverside Arena,” he said. “The Bruins were a very good team last year so they always gave us a good game. The pregame introductions where the Bruins come out with the lights off was pretty cool to see as a visiting player.”
Thompson, who turned 18 in July, could be part of a young Bruins core who are eligible to return to Austin beyond the 2016-17 season.
“Long term he could be a three-year player,” Grabowski said. “We want to build something that could sustain itself. We want to have a core of players coming back every year and hopefully he’s going to be one of those guys going forward.”
The Bruins have a pair of preseason home games – Friday, September 9th vs. the Minnesota Magicians and Saturday, September 17th against the Kenai River Brown Bears. Both games begin at 7:05 PM with Riverside Arena gates opening at 6:00. Tickets will go on sale for $5 general admission at the vendors – Hy Vee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn and Conference Center the Monday prior to each game. Season ticket holders and children 5 and under receive free admission. The regular season begins on Wednesday, September 21st at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine against the Topeka RoadRunners and the regular season home opener is set for Friday, October 14th against the Bismarck Bobcats at 7:05 PM.