By Scott Linesburgh
The Stockton Record
Luke Fulghum‘s path to Stockton began in Europe.
The ECHL all-star forward tried out for a team in Finland but decided to return to the United States a few weeks ago. At about the same time, Thunder coach Chris Cichocki found out he lost a player to a club in England, and Fulghum was available.
The Thunder announced on Wednesday it has come to terms with Fulghum, a physical, offensive-minded forward. He will take the place of Todd Jackson, who was set to play for Stockton but opted to join the Newcastle Vipers in England.
“With Jackson heading over to England, we needed to find a dynamic offensive guy, and I think we found him,” Cichocki said. “He’s a solid, hardworking guy, and his offensive ability jumps out at you.”
Fulghum, 26, won two NCAA titles while playing at the University of Denver and was under contract to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League for the past two seasons, spending time in both the AHL and ECHL. The Marlies assigned him to the Pensacola (Fla.) Ice Pilots in 2005-06, and he had a hat trick and an assist in the ECHL All-Star Game in Fresno.
Last season, he played for the Columbia Inferno and was second on the team with 26 goals. He planned to play in Finland this season.
“I went to Finland, but it just wasn’t for me,” Fulghum said. “I’m glad to have this opportunity in Stockton. I think I have scoring ability and a feel for the puck around the net, and I think I can help.”
The Thunder is scheduled to arrive in Stockton on Oct. 4 and begin training camp the next day at Stockton Arena.