The Missouri Mavericks announced what may be their biggest player acquisition to date.

The Missouri Mavericks announced what may be their biggest player acquisition to date.

One day after trading all-star forward Nick Sirota to the Arizona Sundogs, the Mavericks announced the signing of reigning Central Hockey League scoring champion and former league MVP Sebastien Thinel.

“Sebastien is a franchise player that every team in the CHL was heavily recruiting,” Mavericks president and general manager Brent Thiessen said. “We are excited today for our fans, the organization and our players to add the kind of production that a Sebastien Thinel brings.”

The Mavericks also announced the signing of 25-year-old rookie Kris Hogg, a fourth-round draft pick of the Calgary Flames in the 2004 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Thinel, 30, led the CHL in scoring last season with a career-high 110 points in 66 games. He played nine seasons with the now defunct Odessa Jackalopes, and was a teammate of Mavericks coach Scott Hillman for four years at Odessa.

“Scott and I have kept in touch over the years,” Thinel said by phone Wednesday afternoon, “and we really began talking quite a bit in June. I considered playing with my brother, Marc-Andre, in Europe, but I heard so many good things about the Mavericks that I continued talking with Hilly.

“I then talked to other players, and usually you hear good things and bad things about an organization, but I only heard good things about the Mavericks, and I am so happy and excited to be coming to Independence, Mo., to play for the Mavericks.”

The native of St. Jerome, Quebec, has played all but one of his nine seasons with the Jackalopes and has led the team in scoring in each of his last five seasons.

“We stated coming out of year two that our top priority was to improve our offensive output and power play production,” Hillman said. “Sebastien and I do have a comfort level, and I have so much respect for him – both as a player and as a first-class individual who will become an important part of our community.

“We feel very confident that with marquee players such as Thinel and (former Colorado Eagles forward) Ed McGrane, we are taking steps in the right direction. Sebastien is a quality player and a first-class individual who fits the Mavericks mold and is excited to bring his family to Independence.”

Thinel and his wife, Ashley, who have two young children – Maddx, 2, and Jett, 4 months – visited Independence a few weeks back and were given a tour of his new home on the ice and in Eastern Jackson County.

“When Ashley said she loved Independence, that sealed the deal,” Thinel said, chuckling. “With two young children, your wife has to be happy with the move, and we are both very happy about coming to Missouri.”

Hillman was thrilled to serve as a tour guide for Thinel and his wife.

“They were driving back to west Texas from Canada and thought enough of our offer to come and see the Events Center and take a tour of Independence,” Hillman said.

“Sebastien has played here a couple of times, but his wife had not seen our building or the area, and you could tell that she was excited about everything she saw.”

Thinel is a six-time CHL all-star and two-time winner of the Joe Burton Award as the league’s leading scorer. He was awarded the CHL’s Most Valuable Player Award following the 2008-09 season when he led the league with 97 points and tied for the league lead with 38 goals.

He has also been named to the All-CHL team twice in the past three seasons (2008-09, 2010-11).

Thinel will be on hand at the second annual Missouri Mavericks Fan Fest Sept. 17 at the Events Center.

“I have heard so many wonderful things about the Mavericks fans,” Thinel said. “I am looking forward to meeting them and becoming a part of the community. I played nine years in Odessa and loved playing for one team that many years. Ashley and I want to raise our family in Independence and are looking forward to becoming part of a great community.”

Hogg, a Sicamous, British Columbia, native, enters his first pro season after playing for Lakehead University for four years. In his collegiate career, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound left wing averaged more than a point per contest with 106 in 104 games.

“Kris Hogg is a very big signing, too,” Hillman said. “Being a fourth-round NHL draft pick, we have high expectations for Kris. He played for one of my former coaches, who knows this league very well, and we believe he can take his game to the next level. We are going to push him very hard to help him make his dreams come true.”

Sirota, as reported in Tuesday’s Examiner, was traded to the Arizona Sundogs in exchange for future considerations.

“We wanted Nick to join us this season, however it became very apparent he didn’t want to return to the Mavericks,” Thiessen said.

“We offered him a very fair contract, and he did not want to accept it. We are sad to see him go, but we also want to move forward with players that want to be Mavericks. We appreciate what he has done and wish him the best in Arizona.”