Gauthier returns, Macias joins Thunder

Wichita, Kan. – The Wichita Thunder announced that they have agreed to terms with forward Danick Gauthier and defenseman Ray Macias for the 2015-16 season.

Gauthier, 23, returns for another season in Wichita after being assigned last October by the Tampa Bay Lightning. A native of Brossard, Quebec, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound forward had a career year with the Thunder, notching 68 points (29g-39a) in 66 games and earning a selection to the ECHL All-Star Game. Gauthier was tied for second in the league in power play goals (12) and second in power play points (27). In 104 games in the ECHL, the fourth-year forward has 93 points (38g55a) with Wichita and Florida. He also has 17 points (8g-9a) in 60 career games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.

Prior to turning pro, Gauthier played 219 career games in the QMJHL, amassing 146 points (76g-70a) with the Saint John Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes. His best season came during 2011-12 when he tallied 86 points (47g-39a) in 66 games with the Sea Dogs.

Macias, 28, begins his ninth season as a pro and first in Wichita. A native of Long Beach, Calif., the 6-foot-1, 200-pound blue liner was a fourth round selection (124th overall) of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. During his rookie season, Macias played in 42 games with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League registering 13 points (4g-9a). He made his NHL debut with the Avalanche on April 3, 2009. Overall, he appeared in seven total games with Colorado and 178 games in the AHL from 2008-12 totaling 62 points (18g-47a).

He spent two seasons overseas before signing with the Utah Grizzlies last January. Overall, Macias has appeared in 67 games in the ECHL, collecting 33 points (8g-25) with Johnstown, Reading and Utah. Prior to turning pro, Macias played five season with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League. He piled up 184 points (66g-118a) in 280 career games and finished the 2006-07 season with the most points by a defenseman in the league (70).