Boise, ID (9/7/18) – Steelheads Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Neil Graham announced on Friday that the team has acquired the ECHL rights to forward Justin Kea from the Florida Everblades in exchange for the ECHL rights to forward Tommy Thompson.
Kea, 24, has played four professional seasons split between the ECHL and American Hockey League. A third-round draft pick (73rd overall) of the Buffalo Sabres in 2012, Kea 65 games with the Everblades in 2017-18, totaling 18 goals, 41 points, and a plus-31 rating that was ninth-best in the league. Kea helped lead the Everblades to the Kelly Cup Final.
The Woodville, Ontario native has played 150 career ECHL games with the Everblades and the Elmira Jackals, collecting 36 goals, 75 points, and 201 penalty minutes. In 71 career AHL games with the Rochester Americans, Kea posted four goals, seven points, and 127 penalty minutes.
Thompson, 27, played 11 games in his one season in Boise, spending significant time with AHL Texas throughout the year. Thompson notched two goals and eight points in 11 games, and one goal in nine playoff games.