Seven new faces will be wearing the blue and orange this season with the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Soo Thunderbirds. Caleb Wood, Steven Bellini, Bradon Caruso, Nolan Ford, Justin Ryyppo, Kelly Quevillon of the Great North Midget League Soo Jr Greyhounds along with Tanner Mayne of the Eastern AAA Hockey League.
17 year old forward Caleb Wood comes to the Thunderbirds after playing for his hometown AAA hockey programs from 2015 – 2017. In 80 regular season games in the GNML, the 5’10” and 165 lbs Sault Ste Marie, Ontario native sunk 36 goals and had 31 assists along with adding one goal and contributing one assist in eight post – season match – ups. In four regular season games with the NOJHL Thunderbirds, Woods sank one goal and had two helpers in 2016 – 2017.
17 year old defenseman Quevillon played 61 regular season games with the AAA hockey programs in Sault Ste Marie with scoring six goals and adding 21 assists from 2015 – 2017. In five playoff match – ups with the Thunderbirds of the NOJHL from 2015 – 2017, the 5’11” and 180 lbs blueliner had two helpers. In 61 games with the AAA programs, Quevillon tallied 178 minutes in penalties in two seasons.
17 year old Bradon Caruso of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario comes to the NOJHL junior ‘A’ roster after spending the last two seasons in the Great North Midget League from 2015 – 2017. The second round (22nd overall) 2017 Ontario Hockey League Guelph Storm selection found the back of the net six times and added on 35 other goals in 75 regular season games with the AAA program. In eight post – season games from 2015 – 2017, the 5’11” and 185 lbs defenseman had two more assists. In the NOJHL in 2016 – 2017, Caruso contributed once in 11 games with his hometown Thunderbirds.
Physical 18 year old forward Nolan Ford of Richards Landing, Ontario played the 2016 – 2017 with the Soo AAA Jr Greyhounds with scoring seven goals and adding 27 assists in 36 regular season games along with adding one assist in six post – season games with the AAA program.
Defenseman Steven Bellini has spent the 2015 – 2017 season in the Great North Midget League with his Sault Ste Marie AAA hockey programs. The 17 year old 5’8” and 155 lbs blueliner saw action in 69 regular season games from 2015 – 2017 with the Sault Ste Marie, Ontario native sinking two goals and contributing 25 helpers. In eight GNML post – season games, Bellini had two goals and four assists from 2015 – 2017.
The 6’0” and 170 lbs defenseman, Justin Ryyppo will be joining his hometown NOJHL Soo Thunderbirds after spending 2015 – 2017 season in the GNML with the Sault Ste Marie based AAA programs. In 28 regular season games from 2015 – 2017, Ryyppo had two goals and ten assists while playing 17 NOJHL games with the Thunderbirds from 2015 – 2017. Justin added three helpers during 2016 – 2017 in the NOJHL.
Tanner Mayne of Barrie, Ontario will play for the Thunderbirds starting in the fall of 2017 after spending the 2016 – 2017 season with the Eastern AAA Hockey League’s North Central AAA Midget Predators. The 16 year old 5’10” and 175 lbs forward sank six goals and had seven assists in 36 regular ETAHL games in 2016 – 2017.
“I’m excited to be getting the chance to play for the Thunderbirds, I’m very excited to get started. I can bring good work ethic and attitude to the 2017 – 2018 roster” said Quevillon.
Nolan Ford told Saultsports that “Sault Ste Marie was a second home for me growing up playing hockey there and I can remember being at the Rhodes when the Thunderbirds were playing and how great the atmosphere was and how I wished one day that I could play for a team with such excitement and with such a fan base, so this truly is a dream come true for me to be apart of the thunderbird organization. Playing for Midget Greyhounds last year improve my game tremendously with the help of coaches Kevin Panco and Dom Daluca, they built my confidence up and taught me new things that helped me make the jump into junior where I feel I can make an impact. I would describe my style of play as a quick puck moving defence man where I feel I can offer some offence without taking away from my defence,my strengths are skating and passing so I look to bring speed and passing plays to the game.”