Wichita, Kan. -

 The Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League, powered by Toyota, are excited to announce the signings of forwards Alex Bourret (BUHR-ray) and Nikita Kashirsky (kah-SHEAR-skee) to the roster for the 2014-15 season. 

Bourret, 27, returns to Wichita after spending much of the last two seasons in the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (LNAH) with the Cornwall River Kings and Thetford Mines Isothermic. The nine-year pro was a first round draft pick, selected 16th overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He racked up 57 points (20g, 37a) to go along with 168 penalty minutes in just 43 games during the 2011-12 season. He was selected to the 2012 CHL All-Star Game, but was called up to the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League just a few days prior to the event and was unable to attend. 

“I am extremely excited to be coming back to Wichita, “commented Bourret. “I hope I can help the team get back to where we were the last time I played here. I know Mac is working hard to get to that point and I want to be a part of that.” 

A native of Drummondville, Quebec, Bourret began his pro career in 2006-07. He split time between the Chicago Wolves and the Hartford Wolf Pack, scoring impressive rookie totals of 16 goals and 50 points in 68 games.  The 5-foot-10, 205-pound winger played the next two seasons in the AHL, recording 33 points (9g, 24a) with Hartford in 2007-08 and 48 games with the San Antonio Rampage where he collected 14 points (3g, 11a). Overall, he has compiled 240 points in 297 games during his North American pro career. 

Kashirsky, 29, will enter his first season in Wichita and sixth as a pro. The Moscow, Russia native returns state-side after playing last year for the Dundee Stars of the EIHL, where he tallied 56 points (23g, 33a) in 51 games. He brings a championship pedigree with him, winning two Kelly Cup titles between his time in South Carolina in 2008-09 and Reading in 2012-13. He also has stints in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons, Manitoba Moose and Hershey Bears. Kashirsky has totaled at least 40 points in four out of his five professional seasons while also recording 20 points in 22 games during Reading’s title run. 

"I’m very excited to join Wichita as a player and help Coach Mac on the coaching side of things,” stated Kashirksy. “As a player, I like to play a good all-around game, focusing more on a defensive zone and doing little things right, executing assignments.  Obviously being Russian, I do have a fancy side of the game, but I prefer to use it in appropriate time and situation.” 

Kashirksy completed a stellar four-year collegiate career, registering 144 points (73g, 7a) in 110 games for Norwich University. He earned RBK Second Team All-American honors during his junior season and First Team honors during his senior campaign. He also took home the ECAC East Player of the Year title and was named to the ECAC All-Conference First Team. He turned pro after his senior season with South Carolina in 2008-09 and had seven points (3g, 4a) in 13 games. Kashirsky has totaled 225 points (94g, 131a) in 282 games as a pro.