New faces bolster Wranglers lineup in second half of season

Amarillo, Tx–¬†Fans who watched the Wranglers series in New Mexico this previous weekend may have noticed some new names in the mix. Amid injuries, the Wranglers have added new players to gear up for a playoff push in the last 26 games.

Amarillo has added Jonathan Barker and Ronan Walsh from the Aberdeen Wings and Luke Morris from the El Paso Rhinos.

“We acquired Jonathan to add an element of leadership and Physicality to our blue line to support our pursuit of a playoff birth,” Wranglers Head Coach and GM Harry Mahood said.

Jonathan Barker is a 6-foot-6 defenseman who has over 75 games in junior hockey between the AJHL and NAHL. Amarillo hopes to strengthen their blueline with Barker after Jase Sofo sustained a lower-body injury earlier in the season.

“With the broken foot injury suffered by D1 St. Thomas commit Jase Sofo, we were desperate to add a veteran defenseman that could help settle our defense in the physical and competitive South Division,” Mahood said.

Amarillo also acquired Ronan Walsh from the Aberdeen wings. Walsh has 50 points in 79 games with the Wings.

“We acquired Ronan to add scoring, leadership, and physicality to our lineup. Ronan is a University of New Hampshire commit and will join former Wrangler Kristaps Skrastins next year,” Mahood said.

Walsh is another player the Wranglers turned to fill a gap left by an injury to Tommy Chunchukov.

“With the season-ending injury to Tommy Chunchukov last month, we waited patiently until a veteran player became available that could provide a similar level and style of play as Tommy,” Mahood said.

Luke Morris played in both games in New Mexico last weekend and is a player Amarillo looks to build with this season and into next year.

“Luke is a solid two-way forward and can play up and down the lineup,” Harry Mahood said. “We acquired Luke Morris from El Paso to further compliment our forward group for this season and next.”

Morris had 11 points in 28 games with the El Paso Rhinos this season. The Wranglers hope these additions will strengthen their playoff push in the last 26 games. The Wranglers are four points out of a playoff spot with games in hand over Shreveport and New Mexico.