Wichita, Kan. - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey Leauge's Edmonton Oilers and American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors, announced the signing of defenseman Garrett Schmitz and forward Joe Widmar for the 2019-20 season.
Schmitz, 26, played his rookie season last year for the Southern Professional Hockey League's Birmingham Bulls. A native of Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, he was named to the SPHL All-Rookie Team and First All-Star Team. He led all defensemen with four game-winning goals and tied for third on the Bulls with a +15 rating. In 50 games, he recorded 33 points (10g-23a) and added four points (1g-3a) in eight playoff games. Schmitz also earned a call-up to the Indy Fuel where he appeared in two games.
Prior to turning pro, Schmitz played a four-year career at Hamline University where he collected 30 points (12g-18a) in 99 career games.
Widmar, 24, enters his third year as a pro. A native of Northbrook, Illinois, he spent the majority of last season with the Atlanta Gladiators. He also saw time with the Fort Wayne Komets and the SPHL's Peoria Rivermen. He registered 18 points (7g-11a) in 31 games for the Gladiators while adding 22 points (4g-18a) in 15 games for the Rivermen.
During his rookie campaign in 2017-18, Widmar was named to the SPHL All-Rookie Team, tallying 40 points (11g-29a) in 36 games. He also earned a call-up to the Komets and the Greenville Swamp Rabbits that same season.
Prior to turning pro, Widmar played two seasons at UMass-Amherst where he scored 12 points (4g-8a) in 57 career games.