Wardell and Smith Sign with Soo Thunderbirds for Fall of 2023

Photo Credit: Freeze Frame Photos

The Soo Thunderbirds have announced on Wednesday, June7th that they have officially signed forwards Harley Wardell and Jacob Smith for the upcoming season.

“Harley and Jacob are going to come in and add character and culture that we have established with this program,” said Soo Thunderbirds assistant coach and general manager Jamie Henderson. “Both of them also really set the tone from day one last year in AAA.

Wardell, who is a 2006-birth-year forward, spent last season with the Great North Under-18 Hockey League’s Soo Jr. Greyhounds, where he tallied 10 goals and set up 11 others in 28 regular season games.

During last season, Wardell also served as the Jr. Greyhounds team captain.

“In Harley’s case, he simply brings it everyday,” Henderson said. “His leadership qualities are tremendous and we are thrilled to have him and his family join the Soo Thunderbirds program.”

“I’m really excited to sign with the Thunderbirds and I’m excited to get to work with a great coaching staff,” Wardell said.

“I can’t wait to start of my first year of junior with a great organization.”

Smith, who is a 2006-birth-year forward, spent last season with the Great North Under-18 Hockey League’s Soo Jr. Greyhounds, where he finished fifth in team scoring with 28 points (11 goals and 17 assists) in 24 regular season games.

Smitty was also drafted by the Ottawa 67’s in the 1st round (20th overall) in the Ontario Hockey League Under-18 Priority Selection this past April.

“Jacob took another big step last season and we feel that his best hockey is ahead of him,” Henderson said. “He also has a tremendous feel for the game.”

“I’m excited to sign with the Thunderbirds, because they run their program very similar to the Soo Jr. Greyhounds,” Smith said.

“And with lots of Jr. Greyhounds staying home to play for the Thunderbirds, it should be a smooth adjustment and a fun successful year.”

BEWARE OF DOGS
With the signing of forwards Harley Wardell and Jacob Smith, the Soo Thunderbirds now have a total of seven players signed out of the Great North Under-18 Hockey League’s Soo Jr. Greyhounds.

The other five Jr. Greyhounds who have recently signed with the Soo Thunderbirds are Declan Gallivan, Candon O’Neill, Maverick Fletcher, Callum McAuley and Evan Roach.

Source: Matt Stefano

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