The Twin City Thunder tendered another physical presence to the National Collegiate Development Conference team’s blue line with the signing of Nathan Magier.

Co-owner and coach Dan Hodge liked how Magier plays a gritty game.

“I want defensemen that are going to play hard and get pucks out and play physical in the defensive zone, make players earn every inch out there,” Hodge said. “That fits his game to a tee”

Magier played with Allen Park High School in Allen Park, Michigan the past three seasons. The 18-year-old had 12 goals and 14 assists in 24 games this past season. For his career, he amassed 20 goals and 32 assists in 74 careers games.

Though he checks in at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Magier plays a big man’s game.

“Guys that size who play (that physical style) is surprising, (you see it) with 6-2, 6-3 defensemen, but the game is changing to more of a 6-foot guy that plays with an edge and speed. That’s Nathan Magier right there.”

Magier becomes the fifth defenseman to sign a tender from the Thunder this offseason. He joins Andriiy Yevtukhov, Sawyer Smith, Logan Radtke, and Jack Gilligan. Hodge also took Andrew Cole and Louis Pelland in the draft earlier this month.

With seven defensemen acquired this offseason, Hodge expects good competition among blue-liners when main camp comes on August 19-22, as no spot is guaranteed.

“Like I said all along to every player, you come to camp to earn a spot,” Hodge said. “There are no spots given, whether you are a returner, draft pick, tender or a free agent, you got to earn it. Like I said, we want players who want to earn their jobs but keep the jobs. It’s going to be a high-intensity camp.”

A tender is a contract that gives a team a player’s USPHL NCDC rights, and the player cannot be drafted or signed by another NCDC team. The player, however, can sign with another team in another junior league.

THUNDER KEEPS TABS ON BOWDOIN PLAYERS

With Monday’s announcement that Bowdoin College will not begin varsity sports until Jan. 1, 2021 at the earliest, Hodge has already reached out to Bowdoin men’s hockey coach Jamie Dumont about two former Thunder player, in 19-year-old defenseman Gonzalo Hagerman and 19-year-old goalie Alexander Kozic, who each have junior hockey eligibility remaining. Both have committed to Bowdoin for the upcoming season.

“I called Jamie this morning because I heard (the news), so I called him to see what the lay of the land is for them,” Hodge said Monday. “Obviously I wanted to talk to him first because I believe (Hagerman and Kozic) have transitioned on to Bowdoin students. Obviously I wanted to get his blessing if we were going to talk to them first — then it’s kind of go from there and see what their plans are.”

Twin City Thunder’s Gonzalo Hagerman, left, pokes the puck away from Simon Delden of the Islanders Hockey club during an USPHL NCDC scrimmage on Sept. 5, 2019 RAM Sports Photography

Hagerman had six goals and 12 assists in 39 games with the Thunder. He also suited up for both the Mexican National Team and the Mexican Under-20 National Team at various international competitions during this past season.

Kozic played in 32 games this past season for the Thunder and he recorded a 17-12-1 record with a 2.97 goals-against-average and a .919 save-percentage.

Hodge knows if either player comes back for the fall semester, it will create a void in the Thunder’s roster come mid-season.

“But, here’s a question if (Bowdoin) starts up in January, do you want a player on your team for half a season?” Hodge said. “That’s tough, that’s tough to replace a player mid-season, quality players like that. It’s a double-edge sword, you have to look at it from all angles before you decide let’s go this way.”


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