Team: Bloomington Thunder
2015-16 Record: 36-18-6
Top Forward: Tarek Baker (20 goals, 49 points)
Top Defenseman: Jeremy Davies (13 goals, 49 points)
Top Goaltender: Hayden Lavigne (26-9-2, 2.26 GAA, .914 SV%)
Power Play: 23.3% (T-1st in USHL)
Penalty Kill: 84.5% (5th in USHL)
The Thunder are coming off the most successful year in club history, one in which they amassed 36 wins and 78 points. They also won the first playoff series in team history, knocking off the Anderson Cup champion Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in five games. Veteran center Tarek Baker, last season’s leading scorer for Bloomington, was named captain in June, and is expected lead the way along with returning forward and Calgary Flames draft pick Mitchell Mattson. The Thunder added two other USHL veterans in the offseason, picking up William Fallstrom from Omaha and Daniel Willet from Madison, forming a roster deep with USHL experience.
Halladay is expected to be the number one starter in net heading into the season after playing 28 last season while sporting a 2.58 GAA and .903 SV%. Head coach and general manager Dennis Williams is entering his third season after building a solid foundation and winning culture for the Thunder.
“We are very excited to get the season going. We feel we have a strong group of veterans returning whom we will rely on for their leadership both on and off the ice. At this point, our goal is to put a competitive team on the ice for our fans to be proud of as well as a team that is a staple in Bloomington.”
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.