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Bates, Pouliot return to Wichita

Wednesday, July 12th
Action photos of Peter Bates and Xavier Pouliot of the Wichita Thunder

WICHITA, Kan. – The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's San Jose Sharks and American Hockey League's San Jose Barracuda, announced the return of forward Peter Bates and defenseman Xavier Pouliot for the 2023-24 season. 

Bates, 26, came on strong over the last two months last season finishing with eight goals and 10 points over his last nine games. The third-year forward from Evanston, Illinois closed out his rookie campaign with 40 points (22g-18a) in 70 games. Bates was also named as the team's Most Improved Player.

He turned pro with the Atlanta Gladiators in 2021-22 after finishing his collegiate career at St. Norbert College. Bates had five points (3g-2a) in 11 games for the Gladiators. 

Bates led all of NCAA Division III in scoring when he racked up 58 points (28g-30a) in 31 games and was named the 2021-22 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year. He was also named as the Sid Watson Award winner, which is presented to the best player at the men's NCAA Division III level by the American Hockey Coaches Association. In 2019-20, he earned the NCHA Player of the Year, AHCA First Team All-American, All-USCHO Second Team and named to the NCHA All-Conference Team.

Pouliot, 24, was acquired by the Thunder on March 10 from the Florida Everblades and played in 12 games. 

A native of St-Isidore, Quebec, he played a four-year collegiate career at York University. Pouliot tallied 28 points (11g-17a) in 59 career games for the Lions and was named team captain. Last year, he had his best statistical season, collecting 16 points (7g-9a) in 21 games. 

Prior to heading to school, he spent parts of two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Shawinigan and Chicoutimi. In 2018-19, Pouliot played his final season in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Grande Prairie Storm, picking up 23 points (3g-20a) in 52 games. 

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