Menei Returns, Three Former Thunder Players Join Oilers

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TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League announced Thursday the return of 2012-13 leading scorer Ryan Menei and introduced three former members of the Wichita Thunder as the latest players to join Tulsa’s 2013-14 roster.  Defensemen Jarred Mohr and Nathan Lutz along with forward Thomas Beauregard, who each played a key role in Wichita’s success in the last two seasons, will now experience the CHL’s oldest rivalry from the other side.

“This is another exciting day in what has already been a historic offseason for our franchise,” said Oilers General Manager, Taylor Hall.  “To bring back Ryan Menei and sign three other high-caliber players is just further proof that this organization is heading in the right direction and committed to putting a winning product on the ice.”

Menei, a 5-11, 195-pound right-wing who enters his seventh season as a pro, appeared in every single game last season for the Oilers and finished the year ranked fifth in the CHL scoring race with 82 points.  The 27-year old led Tulsa in goals (34), assists (48), power play points (23), and tied for the team lead with four game-winning goals.  Menei’s consistent offensive output earned him Oilers MVP honors last season and his most impressive stretch occurred over the span of one week in early February when he recorded back-to-back hat-tricks and registered his 350th career point.  The Winnipeg, Manitoba native was named the CHL’s Second Star of the Month for February and over the entire 2012-13 campaign, he was able to find the back of the net on nearly 20-percent of his shots on goal.

Ryan Menei celebrates one of his four goals against Rapid City on February 5, 2013 at the BOK Center. (photo by Kevin Pyle - www.photopyle.com)

Ryan Menei celebrates one of his four goals against Rapid City on February 5, 2013 at the BOK Center. (photo by Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com)

“I think it goes without saying that we’re thrilled to have Ryan back in Tulsa,” said Bruce Ramsay, Oilers Head Coach.  “Without a doubt, he is one of the most prolific goal scorers in the league and I think with the advantage of playing alongside guys like Ben Gordon, Todd Robinson, and some of the other talented players we’ve assembled, Ryan is poised to have another incredible season.  He handles the puck extremely well, he’s a force on the power play, and he’s one of those guys who just has a knack for putting the puck in the net.”

A seven-year veteran with five seasons of experience in the CHL, Mohr arrives in Tulsa after spending each of the last two seasons with the Thunder.  In the 2011-12 season, Mohr, 5-11, 185-pounds, enjoyed his best season as a pro when he played in all 66 games for Wichita and finished with 38 points (6 goals, 32 assists) to go along with an impressive +22 rating.  Prior to joining the Thunder, Mohr spent a year with the Rocky Mountain Rage and played two seasons for the Laredo Bucks.  The 28-year old blue-liner hails from Regina, Saskatchewan and registered 12 points in 44 games last season in Wichita.

“Jarred is a smart, reliable player who will provide some much needed consistency and stability on defense,” remarked Ramsay.  “Coaching against him for the last couple of seasons, I’ve always admired the way Jarred plays the game.  I think he’s going to bring a lot of valuable experience and leadership to our team and we’re excited to have him on board.”

One of Mohr’s fellow defensemen in Wichita last season, Lutz will begin his 12th professional season as an Oiler.  The Mistatim, Saskatchewan native, who appeared in 113 AHL games, recorded three goals and 23 assists over 61 games with the Thunder during 2012-13.  Lutz, 35, ended the year tied for second on the team and tied for third in the entire CHL with a remarkable +27 rating.  The 6-2, 230-pound rear guard has played for 15 teams in six different leagues over the course of his career and enters his third season in the CHL.  Lutz was a member of the Mississippi Riverkings in 2010-11 where he posted 48 points (10 goals, 38 assists) in 59 games and ranked third on their squad with 108 penalty minutes.

“Nathan is the big, physical defenseman that our fans have been waiting for and the kind of player we’ve been missing for the last couple of seasons,” Ramsay said.  “He’s got a load of experience at some of the highest levels of hockey and I know our younger players will be able to learn a lot from Nathan.  Size and toughness are always difficult to play against and I know Nathan possesses the skill to shut down some of our opponent’s best players.”

Beauregard suited up for Wichita during the 2011-12 season and spent the majority of last year as a member of the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL.  In his time with the Thunder, Beauregard, the younger brother of former Oiler David Alexandre Beauregard, put up 59 points (22 goals, 37 assists) in 60 games and led the team in power play points (17) and shots on goal (235).  The 5-11, 185-pound forward has played ten games in the AHL and is averaging nearly a point per game throughout his five-year professional career.  Beauregard, 27, attended Montreal Canadiens training camp in 2007 after recording 124 points in 69 games during his final season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

“There aren’t too many guys in our league who are better at putting the puck on the net and putting the puck in the net than Thomas Beauregard,” said Ramsay.  “He was a very tough matchup for us when we played against Wichita a couple years ago and I definitely didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to bring him here to Tulsa.  Obviously, he’s heard a lot about our arena and our community from his brother and I’m sure our fans are going to embrace Thomas the same way they embraced David.”

The Oilers and Thunder will clash 14 times this season and the first opportunity for Mohr, Lutz, and Beauregard to face their former team will be Wednesday, November 6 at the BOK Center.

Tulsa begins its 22nd season of hockey on October 18 with a visit to the Denver Cutthroats.  The Oilers 2013-14 home opener is scheduled for Saturday, October 26 at 7:35 p.m. against the Allen Americans.

For ticket information, please call 918-632-7825.

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