Thunder sign 2009 ECHL MVP Kevin Baker
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Thunder, proud ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League, and head coach Matt Thomas announced today that the team has signed veteran free agent right wing Kevin Baker.
Baker, 32, was named ECHL Most Valuable Player in 2008-09 with the Florida Everblades when his league leading 57 goals were the most in the ECHL since 2000-01. A two time All-ECHL First-Team (2007 and 2009), he has also skated and been named a starter twice in the ECHL All-Star Game with the American Conference (2007 and 2009).
Since 2006-07, Baker’s 150 goals in 266 games rank third in the ECHL, surpassed only by Wes Goldie of Victoria and Alaska (241 goals in 404 games) and Mark Derlago of Bakersfield and Idaho (174 goals in 281 games). The 6-foot-1, 202-pound winger makes the Thunder his fourth ECHL team and has scored 297 points (141g-156a) in 249 career ECHL games with Florida, Texas and Johnstown.
Baker returns to North America after suiting up in 39 games last season in Italy with Ritten Renon, when his 36 points (15g-21a) and 15 goals ranked third on the club.
His career-highs came in the 2008-09 season when he became the first player since 2000-01 to hit the ECHL’s 50-goal plateau and led the league in goals (57), points (102), and game-winning goals (10) while skating in 70 games. Baker’s trip to Reading for the ECHL All-Star Game that year included a hat trick and four point (3g-1a) effort for the American Conference.