Kennedy Returns for Second Season in Carolina

22-year-old defenseman looks to build off successful rookie campaign

October 2nd, 2023

Winston-Salem, NC


The Carolina Thunderbirds, proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, and Head Coach Steve Harrison have announced today the re-signing of defenseman Joe Kennedy for the 2023-24 season. 

“I am ecstatic to be back,” Kennedy said. “I’m ready to get back on the ice and be back at The Annex in front of our fans.”

Kennedy as a rookie last year was named to the Young Stars Squad as a defensemen accruing 45 points across the regular season and playoffs. The Seattle, Washington native put up 11 goals and 34 assists while racking up 60 penalty minutes and producing a +27. 

The 22-year-old spent a majority of time from 2018 to 2021 playing for the Stouffville Spirit of the OJHL, the Ontario Junior Hockey League, including a 30-point season in 2021. 

“I’m excited,” Head Coach Steve Harrison said. “He’s a player who I’ve never really seen play, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about him. He was a leader on the ice and off the ice, and I’m expecting him to take another step in a young career of being a leader and being one of those guys on defense that I’m going to have to rely on a lot this year. 

Now in his second year with the Thunderbirds, the Canadian looks to build off a strong rookie campaign when Carolina opens its season on October 27th in Danbury, Connecticut against the Danbury Hat Tricks. Fans can watch the game on ThunderbirdsTV and listen live on WTOB 980 AM locally in Winston-Salem.