Thunderbirds add stalwart goaltender Babik
Winston-Salem, NC – The Carolina Thunderbirds have added another proven goaltender to their roster, signing Slovakia’s Boris Babik for the 2022-2023 season. After six seasons in the professional leagues of Slovakia, Sweden, and Turkey, Babik will make his North American Professional debut with Carolina.
“We're excited to have a goaltender of Boris' caliber join our hockey team,” said head coach Garrett Rutledge. "It gives everyone a confidence boost knowing you've got someone with that level of experience between the pipes."
After three games with MSHK Dolny Kubin in the Slovakian 3rd league, Babik spent the majority of the 2021-2022 season with Istanbul Buyuksehir SK in Turkey. Babik won 15 games that season, enroute to being named the top goaltender in the Turkish Super League.
“I had so much fun last season,” said Babik. “But I’m excited to start this new journey with the Thunderbirds. I’m happy to have a chance to play in North America.”
Prior to his season in Turkey, Babik left his mark both in Sweden and in his native Slovakia. In the 2019-2020 season, he posted a stellar 2.78 GAA and .919 SV% with IFK Osteraker of Sweden’s Division 3.
Three times in his career thus far, Babik has had the best save percentage in his league. In 2015, he posted a .925 SV% with HKM Zvolen in Slovakia’s U20 league. Three years later, a .930 SV% led all of Slovakia 3, and in 2019-2020 his career best .935 SV% led all Division 3 goaltenders.
“I’ve played in many places at this point in my career,” said Babik. “I always enjoy seeing what new cities and new teams have to offer. Carolina seems like an outstanding place to be.”
Babik has played 107 professional games to this point. He becomes the third Slovakian goalie to put on a Thunderbirds sweater, Michal Marcinek and franchise win leader Christian Pavlas.
Babik won’t have to wait long to get his first taste of FPHL action. The Thunderbirds head up to Port Huron to open their season this Friday at 7:05pm.
Carolina’s home opener is October 29th at 6:05pm when they host the Delaware Thunder. For tickets and more information, visit www.carolinathunderbirds.com.