Winston-Salem, NC- For the first time this season the Carolina Thunderbirds have completed a trade. In a deal with the Watertown Wolves, the Thunderbirds have acquired the rights to Jiri Pestuka and Josh Pietrantonio. In return the Wolves get the rights to Nate O’Brien, John Scully, and Kyle Powell.

Pestuka, a forward from Prostejov in the Czech Republic, played his last 2 seasons of hockey with the Berlin RiverDrivers. The 6’1”, 179 pound, 23-year-old scored 26 goals and 31 assists in 29 games during the 2016-2017 season.

Pietrantonio, from Hamilton, Ontario, also played with the RiverDrivers last season. The forward stands at 6’2” and weighs 181 pounds. Pietrantonio, 24-years-old, had 10 goals and 18 assists in 38 games in Berlin during the 2016-2017 season.

Head coach Andre Niec weighed in on the trade, “Pietrantonio will be one of the leaders on our team…Last season Danbury released Josh, no other team picked him up…I gave him a chance and he worked hard and gave everything he had…Pestuka will score 60 to 70 points next season, he can score every game if he wants to…He has been working all summer long…I know these guys so I know what to expect from them.”

Niec continued, speaking to the large volume of former Berlin players who have signed tryout agreements with the Carolina Thunderbirds, “When I was done in Berlin and when the boys heard I was going to be taking over Carolina, each of them texted or called me asking if they could come to Carolina. We had a great bunch of guys who are used to each other and know each other well.”

The Thunderbirds 2017-2018 regular season starts with opening weekend on Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4. Season tickets for the Thunderbirds are on sale now for the 2017-2018 season and start as low as $55. Call 336.774.8895 for additional season ticket information. Advertising, corporate partnership, and group ticket opportunities are available for the 2017-2018 season, for more information please call 336.774.GOAL(4625) or email

The Carolina Thunderbirds play in the Federal Hockey League, which celebrates its 8th season in 2017-2018.