Thunder receive three from AHL, sign Paige to PTO

STOCKTON, Calif. – The Stockton Thunder, proud ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League, announced center Gabriel Levesque, left wing Ian O’Connor and defenseman Brock Matheson have been assigned to the Thunder from the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.

The following transactions were also announced:


* Kyle Paige (LW) – signed by the Thunder to a professional tryout agreement (PTO) 


* Jeff Sawhill (D) – released from amateur tryout agreement (ATO)

Levesque, 21, makes the Thunder his first pro team after leading the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in assists (70) last season. He skated in 68 games for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and also led the club in points (107), plus-minus rating (+33) and tied for the team led in goals (37), with all totals registering as career-highs. His six points (2g-4a) in four games also led Acadie-Bathurst in playoff scoring. For his four-year (2007-11) junior career, the 5-foot-7 and 170-pound pivot tallied 245 points (78g-167a), a +29 rating and 102 penalty minutes in 253 games with Acadie-Bathurst and Rouyn-Noranda.

O’Connor, 24, makes the Thunder his second pro team after making his debut with the Reading Royals last season. He collected one goal, seven penalty minutes and a +1 rating in six games. The 6-foot and 200 pound forward previously skated with Providence College and led the Friars last season as a senior with a career-high 24 points (8g-16) and 16 assists in 34 games. O’Connor, a native of Londonderry, N.H., skated in 135 career games for Providence, collecting 62 points (26g-36a) and 102 penalty minutes through four seasons (2007-11).

Matheson, 24, made his pro debut with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL last season and collected two penalty minutes in two games. Previously, the 6-foot-1 and 190 pound defenseman suited up in 141 career games with Union College and notched 123 penalty minutes and 24 points (9g-15a). As a two-year captain, he earned ECAC Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman honors and was the first player at Union to be named recipient of the award since 1997. As a 2010-11 senior, Matheson picked up a career-high ten points (3g-7a) and seven assists in 40 games. His +27 rating ranked tied for second in the ECAC Conference.

Paige, 23, previously skated for University of Toronto (CIS) in 2009-10 and collected 11 points (5g-6a) and 36 penalty minutes in 26 games. The 6-foot-1 and 191 pound forward has eight games of ECHL playing experience with the Utah Grizzlies from 2007-09 and has scored one goal.