Thunderbirds add more OHL talent in Justin Pringle

Winston-Salem, NC – Continuing the OHL-to-Carolina pipeline, the Thunderbirds have signed former Kingston Frontenac Justin Pringle. The Toronto native will arrive in Carolina with 142 games of Ontario Hockey League (OHL) experience.

“We’re very excited to add him to our roster,” said Head Coach Garrett Rutledge. “Coming from the OHL and coaching against him, he is a very responsible and a complete player. Having his skill set and work ethic will make my job easy as a coach.”

Pringle began his OHL career in the 2016-17 season, skating in 63 games with the Frontenacs. He would amass 20 points over the span of his OHL career, which was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That final season, Pringle played with current Thunderbird Dawson Baker, setting the stage for Pringle to become a Thunderbird himself.

“I had Baker reach out to me about three weeks ago,” said Pringle. “He mentioned he was playing there and had a really fun time and that I should come. I started looking into it, and Winston-Salem looks like a great place to play, so I said ‘why not?’ ”

The Thunderbirds organization now boasts five players or staff with experience in North America’s top junior hockey league. Pringle, Baker, Rutledge, Jarett Meyer, and recent signing Kyle Heitzner cumulatively have 749 games of OHL experience. Pringle and Baker will become the first set of OHL teammates to play together with the Thunderbirds.

“I had a great time playing with [Baker] in Kingston,” said Pringle. “It’ll be lots of fun to get back with him again. It’s nice to be back in the team atmosphere and be back competing again.”

Pringle and the Thunderbirds will open the season on October 21st in Port Huron. Puck drop against the Prowlers is scheduled for 7:05pm