Thunderbirds add elite scoring threat in Burridge

Winston-Salem, NC – As the 2022-2023 season draws near, the Carolina Thunderbirds have signed another forward with playmaking ability. Jeff Burridge, the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL)’s leading scorer and Western Conference MVP last season, will make his FPHL debut in Carolina.

“I was part of drafting him in Flint in the OHL,” said Head Coach Garrett Rutledge. “He’s a big power forward who can score. He’ll add a lot of scoring.”

Rutledge’s former team, the Ontario Hockey League’s Flint Firebirds, drafted Burridge in 2017. He would spend that 2017-2018 season in Wellington, winning an Ontarion Junior Hockey League (OJHL) championship.

Burridge becomes the 6th active Thunderbird player or coach with experience in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), the umbrella organization representing the three major junior hockey leagues in Canada. His 2019-2020 campaign was spent with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major-Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), a league which sent 19 players to the 2022 NHL Draft.

“His shot and vision on the ice are very high-level,” continued Rutledge. “Jeff comes with great character and will be a key piece to our success this season.”

In his lone season of QMJHL action, Burridge tallied 15 points in 56 games with the Mooseheads. The season was cut short due to COVID-19.

In his next season, Burridge joined the London Nationals and quickly became the team’s primary scorer. In just 45 games, Burridge piled up 31 goals, 50 assists, and 81 points. His scoring made him a Western Conference All-Star, MVP, and its leading scorer. Burridge also led the GOJHL in assists and points.

“I know a couple of guys that play on the team and all I’ve heard is good things about it,” said Burridge. “I know the fans are really good and once I heard I had the opportunity to play there, it was a no-brainer.”

The addition of Burridge brings Carolina to 805 games of CHL experience between five players and its head coach. The Thunderbirds head up to Port Huron to open the season on October 21st against the Prowlers. Puck drop from McMorran arena is set for 7:05pm.