By Matt Stefano
With the NOJHL season cut short due to the coronavirus, the Soo Thunderbirds would like to take this time to recognize their graduating captain # 27 Nolan Ford.
Ford, who was also known as “Fordy”, spent three seasons with the Soo Thunderbirds from 2017-2020, recording 19 goals and 68 points in 161 career regular season games.
After signing with the Thunderbirds back in July of 2017, Ford attended Soo Greyhounds Training Camp as a free agent during August of 2017.
The Richards Landing, Ontario native began his career as a defenceman with the Thunderbirds during his rookie season in 2017-2018.
On September 17th, 2017, Ford scored his first NOJHL goal against the Espanola Express in a 3-1 win over Espanola at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.
Ford recorded his first career multi point game on October 15th, 2017, where he scored once and set up another in an 8-4 victory over the Elliot Lake Wildcats at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
After finishing the 2017-2018 regular season with 4 goals and 15 points in 55 games, Ford was the recipient of the Michael Doan Memorial Trophy for the team’s most improved player.
During the 2018 postseason, Ford scored once and set up another in 13 playoff games.
Ford, who switched from defence to forward in his sophomore season in 2018-2019, went on to score 9 goals and 28 points in 51 regular season games, along with just 18 penalty minutes.
On February 21st, 2019, Fordy celebrated a milestone as he suited up in his 100th career regular season game in a road game in Elliot Lake.
He also helped the Thunderbirds win the regular season championship in 2019.
The Richards Landing native then scored 3 goals and set up 10 others in 19 games during the 2019 postseason, which helped the Thunderbirds all the way to the NOJHL Final.
Following the 2018-2019 season, Ford was also named the team’s most sportsmanlike player.
Ford, who then switched back to playing defence in 2019-2020, was also named as the club’s co-captain prior to the season.
Following the trade of co-captain Nick Smith back on January 3rd, Fordy was then named as the club’s captain for the remainder of the season.
The 20 year old made his debut as Thunderbirds captain on January 5th in a home game against the Timmins Rock.
Ford finished the 2019-2020 regular season with 6 goals and 25 points in 55 games.
(Photo credit to Bob Davies)