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Published: Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015  
By: Brian Tosti

Bloomington, IL - The Bloomington Thunder have announced that they have acquired United States Hockey League defenseman Nikolas Koberstein (Montréal Canadiens, University of Alaska-Fairbanks) from the Sioux Falls Stampede in exchange for defenseman Matt Nuttle (Cornell University). The trade brings the first NHL drafted player to suit up for Bloomington in the USHL era.

Koberstein was selected in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Montréal Canadiens following a season in the AJHL with the Olds Grizzlys. The Edmonton, AB native led the team in points by a defenseman with 18 (5g, 13a). Joining the USHL this season with the Sioux Falls Stampede, he has tallied one goal in 30 games this season while tallying a +11 rating, which ranks in the top 25 of the league. The 6'2" defenseman, known for his defensive game, grabbed his first point in the league in a 5-1 win over the Waterloo Black Hawks on 11/15/14. In the preseason he was one of 44 players to take part in the Canadiens rookie camp.

Nuttle ships out of Bloomington at the halfway point of the USHL season with seven points (3g, 4a) in 27 games played. The East Aurora, NY native committed to Cornell University during the preseason and joined the Thunder after a season in the North American Hockey League with the Wenatchee Wild. He had also amassed three games in the USHL during the 2012-13 season with the Youngstown Phantoms, tallying two assists.

Next Home Game: The Thunder return to the U.S. Cellular Coliseum for OSF Giveaway Night on Friday, January 9th. The first 1,000 fans in the building receive a free mini flashlight courtesy of the OSF Medical Group when the Thunder take on the Sioux City Musketeers at 7:00 PM CST. It's also an Olive Garden Family Night. Grab 4 tickets in the lower end and a $25 gift card to the Olive Garden for $50 while supplies last. Upgrade your tickets to premium seating for just $5. Call the Thunder office for tickets at (309) 434-2980

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