Playoff gamebreaker Dawson Baker returns for 2022-2023 season
Winston-Salem, NC – The Carolina Thunderbirds have re-signed Cobourg, Ontario’s Dawson Baker ahead of the 2022-2023 campaign. Baker was a mainstay of the Carolina offense last season and proved his ability to perform under pressure with his overtime heroics.
“Having Bakes back for another season is amazing,” said Head Coach Garrett Rutledge. “And with his first year of pro hockey under his belt, he will be a key piece to our offence this year.”
Baker joined the Thunderbirds just before the Christmas break in 2021, and the team went 5-2 in its first seven games with him in the lineup. After his first FPHL goal on December 26th, Baker didn’t look back. By season’s end, he had compiled 20 goals, 28 assists, and 48 points in just 42 games.
“I loved being around this group of guys last year,” said Baker. “We were a really tight group and I’m really happy to be a part of this team again.”
Baker’s flair for the dramatic became difficult to ignore in the final months of the regular season, as he scored overtime game-winners in Columbus, Delaware, and on home ice against Port Huron. That last regular-season OT-winner proved to be a prelude for even more magic. In Game 2 against the Prowlers, Baker’s breakaway overtime goal punched the Thunderbirds’ ticket to the second round of the Commissioner’s Cup Playoffs.
Before his time in Carolina, Baker was molded into a top offensive threat and agitator in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Splitting his time between the Sudbury Wolves and Kingston Frontenacs, Baker amassed 53 goals and 226 penalty minutes in 194 OHL games.
Baker also made waves on the national stage, skating for Canada Black at the 2016 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. The tournament featured eventual NHL first-rounders like Andrei Svechnikov (2nd overall, Carolina Hurricanes, 2018 NHL Draft), and Joel Farabee (14th overall, Philadelphia Flyers, 2018 NHL draft). Baker notched a goal and an assist in the tournament while helping Canada Black to a Silver Medal.
“Bakes is responsible player and has the ability to be the top player in our league,” Rutledge continued. “Not to mention his timely goals for us last season. We’re looking for him to be a big leader this season.”
Returning to the site of his first FPHL goal, Baker and the Thunderbirds will open the 2022-2023 season in Port Huron’s McMorran Arena on October 21st.