After starting his fourth season with Kolner Haie in Germany’s DEL, Ontario Hockey League grad Nick Latta jumped the Atlantic and has settled in with the Wichita Thunder in the ECHL. The son of an OHL alumnus, Latta is joined by fellow Ontario Hockey League grad Kyle Platzer on the Thunder roster. The two are trying to help Wichita reach the post season for the first time since moving to the ECHL for the 2014-15 season.
Nicholas Latta played four years in the OHL from 2010-11 to 2013-14, all with the Sarnia Sting. Despite his dual Canada/Germany citizenship, he came to the Sting as a import, taken in the second round of the 2010 CHL Import Draft, 62nd overall. Latta played for Germany at the 2011 and 2013 World Juniors. As well, he helped the team to a gold medal finish in the WJC D1A tournament in 2012 after getting relegated in 2011.
Over his four years, Nick scored 68 goals and assisted on 52 for 120 points over 237 regular season games. In ten playoff games, he added three goals. In his final season with the Sting, Latta was team captain and was the bright spot on a last place team with his 38 goals.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, Latta saw his first pro hockey action in 2013-14. After the Sting put an end to their dismal regular season, Nick joined the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL on a PTO basis. He appeared in eleven games, scoring a goal and adding an assist.
From 2014-15 to midway through this 2017-18 season, Nick was with Kolner Haie in Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). In 2017-18, he appeared in 33 games, scoring four goals and assisting on four. Since moving to the ECHL and the Wichita Thunder, Latta has three goals and an assist in nine games.
Nick’s father Ken Latta played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1979-80 to 1982-83 with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and London Knights. He moved to Germany to play and has remains in a coaching role today with Blue Devils Weiden in the country’s tier 3 Oberliga.
The Wichita Thunder came to life in 1992-93 in the Central Hockey League. In their second and third years in the CHL, they won the Ray Miron President’s Trophy as playoff champs. Since joining the ECHL in 2014-15, the team has yet to qualify for the post season.
However, in 2017-18, the Thunder are poised for a visit to the playoffs. They sit fourth in the Mountain Division and eighth in the Western Conference after 46 games. It’s a tight conference at the moment with just five points separating fifth and tenth spots.
Kyle Platzer is on the roster. Platzer played four years in the OHL from 2011-12 to 2014-15. His time in the league was spent mostly with the London Knights but he ended his career with the Owen Sound Attack.
The Thunder are affiliated with the Edmonton Oilers (NHL) and the Bakersfield Condors (AHL). Home games are played at the 15,000 seat Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas, a venue that opened in 2010. Number 9 is retired by the club in honour of Ron Handy. Handy played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1980-81 to 1982-83 with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Kingston Canadians.
Nick Latta OHL Stats