Rowe becomes third Kingtson alum to join Thunderbirds

Winston-Salem, NC -- The Carolina Thunderbirds have added another talented Ontario Hockey League (OHL) veteran in Lucas Rowe. The Etobicoke, ON native split 160 games of OHL action between the London Knights, Flint Firebirds, and Kingston Frontenacs.

“Getting Rowe adds another top forward who has had a lot of success,” said Head Coach Garrett Rutledge. “Coming from the OHL, winning the OJHL with Pickering, and going to the Centennial Cup Finals last season, he brings a winning pedigree to our club.”

Rowe will join two other members of the 2019-2020 Kingston Frontenacs upon his arrival to Carolina; rookie Justin Pringle and second-year Thunderbird Dawson Baker. The idea of reuniting with his Kingston teammates made signing in Carolina an attractive option to Rowe.

“I thought it would be a no-brainer,” said Rowe. “Come have some fun and work hard with my buddies. I had a blast with both of them in Kingston, they’re both great teammates.”

Aside from playing with Pringle and Baker, six of Rowe’s teammates that season are currently under NHL contracts. The most notable among them, Shane Wright, was drafted 4th overall by the Seattle Kraken in this year’s NHL draft.

Rowe’s final year in Kingston would be his busiest in the OHL, yielding 59 games during a COVID-shortened season. The right-handed winger would score eight goals that year, coupled with seven assists for 15 points.

After the OHL, Rowe ventured into the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), wearing an alternate captain’s letter for the Pickering Panthers. In the 2021-2022 season, he assembled his first point-per-game campaign. His 24 goals, 31 points, and 55 points were one shy of tying the team lead. After winning the OJHL championship, Rowe and the Panthers would advance as far as the Centennial Cup Finals before their season was ended.

Now at age 21, Rowe enters the professional hockey ranks for the first time flanked by two friends from his junior days.

“I’ve known Pringle since I was younger and grew up with him,” said Rowe. “I’ve known Bakes since I got to Kingston and we kind of gelled together really quick and became best buddies right off the hop.”

Rowe’s 130 games in the OHL bring Carolina’s total experience in North America’s top junior league to 696 games.

The Thunderbirds will begin a new chapter in their history on October 21st, opening their 6th season of FPHL competition in Port Huron. They return home the following weekend to take on the Delaware Thunder on October 29th at 6:05pm.