Evansville, In.:  The Evansville Thunderbolts and Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Jeff Bes are pleased to announce the signing of defenseman Grayson Valente for the 2023-24 season.  The Thunderbolts’ 2023-24 season will get underway on Saturday, October 21st at Ford Center as they host the Huntsville Havoc.

Valente played the past two seasons in Europe, beginning his professional career with HK Levice of the Slovakia-2 league in 2021-22, followed by the 2022-23 season with Chiefs Leuven of Belgium’s BeNeLiga.  The Vancouver, British Columbia native tallied 4 assists in 32 games with HK Levice, before having a breakout season offensively with Chiefs Leuven in 2022-23, scoring 4 goals and 17 points in 18 regular season games along with 5 goals and 9 points in 7 playoff games.  Prior to turning pro, Valente played his most recent junior hockey with the Austin Bruins of the NAHL in 2020-21, and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL between 2017-2020.  In reaction to signing with Evansville, Valente commented: “I’m really excited for the opportunity to play in Evansville this season.  I’ve spoken with guys from the team, and they had nothing but good things to say about Coach Bes and the organization.  After hearing about Coach’s plans for the season and the support the team gets from the fans, I knew this is where I wanted to be!”

In reaction to signing Valente, Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Jeff Bes commented: “Grayson is a really good skater that defends well, and also has the ability to contribute offensively.  He is very excited about playing in Evansville.”