Thunderbirds bolster D corps, return Baker
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- The Carolina Thunderbirds, proud members and defending champions of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, announced Friday that defenseman Mike Baker has re-signed with the team for the 2020-2021 season.
“Mike Baker is a veteran in the league and a champion with the Thunderbirds. There is a reason why he’s been a staple player for so long,” said general manager Kelly Curl.
This season will be Baker’s fifth in the league. A journeyman of the FPHL, the Durand, Mich.-native broke into the league with the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints before the Port Huron Prowlers acquired him.
Baker played another season-and-a-half with the Prowlers before joining Carolina in the 2018-2019 season. Coach Andre Niec remarked that Baker was an important part of the championship run, finishing the season with three goals and a single-season career high 23 assists.
“Last season he decided to stay home, but at the end of the year he got the itch to play again; he missed hockey. He will be a leader for our younger players,” said Niec.
Baker played nine games at the end of the season with Carolina and was on the ice for the final game of the season against Columbus.
Baker made a name for himself with the NA3HL’s Toledo Cherokee, scoring 14 goals in his only NA3 season prior to beginning his professional and collegiate career.
After juniors, Baker skated three seasons in the ACHA with Oakland University where he averaged eight points per season in 118 collegiate games.
Baker and the Thunderbirds are ready to usher a fourth season of hockey into Winston-Salem this season. Season tickets are still available via the online link on the team website’s homepage.
The Thunderbirds offices remain closed to the public, but staff members are still available via phone. News on re-opening will be released on the team website and via its social media channels in conjunction with the re-opening of the Winston-Salem Fairground box office.
Mike was an important part of our championship run 2 years ago. Last season he decided to stay home, but at the end of the year he got the itch to play again, he missed hockey. He will be a leader for our younger players.