Walker Set to Return as Player/Asst. Coach in 2019-20
Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds are happy to announce that Beau Walker will be returning for the 2019-20 season as a player/assistant coach.
"I'm honored to not only come back and play for Carolina, but to also learn the ins and outs of coaching from Andre" Walker said. "He took me in last year and I was very grateful to be able to win the Federal League Championship with the Birds."
Last season Walker split time between the SPHL and FPHL, playing nine games with the Evansville Thunderbolts before arriving in Winston-Salem. After a strong 10-game showing in Carolina (4g-6a) Walker earned a call from the Peoria Rivermen where he played until Peoria's season ended in the first round of the SPHL playoffs.
Peoria's early exit proved fortunate for the Thunderbirds as Walker returned in time for the Commissioner's Cup Finals against Elmira and tallied 11 points (4g-7a) in the four game series.
"I am happy to have a player like Beau back for the upcoming season" head coach Andre Niec said. "He will be a great leader and with his new role as one of my assistant coaches he will be a big help for me."
Walker becomes the fifth player from the 2018-19 championship team to commit to playing in Winston-Salem next season. Fellow forwards Michael Bunn, Petr Panacek, and Jan Salak are on that list as well as defenseman Jay Kenney.
"This is the best decision for me and my future in terms of one day being a head coach myself" Walker said. "I can't wait to be back with the Flock at the Annex."
Carolina opens the season on the road in Elmira on October 25. The home opener with banner ceremony will be on November 8 against the Danbury Hat Tricks.
In other training camp news Dmitri Selyutin and Patrik Tondl have been invited to the Carolina Thunderbirds main camp in October.
The Carolina Thunderbirds are proud members of the Federal Hockey League, now in its tenth season. The Thunderbirds are looking forward to their third season of play and one where they hope to defend their 2018-19 Commissioner's Cup Championship. The Thunderbirds welcomed in nearly 95,000 people to their home, the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, during their championship run shattering their old team attendance record in the process. Season tickets for 2019-2020 are available now by calling 336-774-4625.