WICHITA, Kan. - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers and American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors, announced the signing of goaltender Michael Bitzer and forward Carter Johnson for the 2021-22 season.
Bitzer returns to the ECHL after spending the last two seasons with the DEL2's Crimmitschau ETC. The Moorhead, Minnesota native went 16-11-0 in 29 games last season, collecting a 3.14 goals-against average and .897 save percentage. He previously made stops in Idaho, Rapid City and Atlanta before heading overseas.
Prior to turning pro, the 27-year-old attended Bemidji State University. His best season came in 2016-17, where he went 22-14-3, with a 1.71 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. He earned WCHA First All-Star Team, WCHA Goaltending Champion, WCHA Player of the Year, helped the Beavers to the league regular season title, West First Team All-Star and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.
Johnson turns pro after playing his collegiate career at Miami University. A native of Gimli, Manitoba, he appeared in 92 games for the Redhawks, recording 13 points (5g-8a).
Prior to heading to college, Johnson played one season for the North American Hockey League's Corpus Christi Ice Rays, where he notched 37 points (16g-21a) in 59 games during the 2016-17 season.