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OFFICIAL SITE OF THE SOO THUNDERBIRDS JUNIOR A HOCKEY CLUB

McConnell-Barker joins the Thunderbirds

By Matt Stefano

You can now add another Soo Greyhounds prospect to the Bird nest!

The Soo Thunderbirds have announced on Monday that they have signed defenceman and Soo Greyhounds 2022 3rd round pick Brodie McConnell-Barker.

The signing of McConnell-Barker came shortly the signing of Hounds 2022 2nd round pick Landon Miller.

“We are thrilled to welcome Brodie and his family to the program,” said Soo Thunderbirds assistant coach and general manager Jamie Henderson. “Brodie is an excellent puck moving defenceman who will certainly bring an offensive element to our backend while being responsible and hard to play against.

“I’m super excited to be a Soo Thunderbird,” McConnell-Barker added. “The Soo Thunderbirds organization has developed many great players over the years and I’m excited to be with this club and I can’t wait to get started.”

McConnell-Barker, who is from London, Ontario, spent last season with his hometown London Jr. Knights Under-16 team, where he tallied 8 goals and 36 points in 33 regular season games.

Last season, the 2006-birth-year defenceman also helped the Jr. Knights win the Alliance Under-16 championship.

“The London Jr. Knights team had a great group of guys that I will never forget,” McConnell-Barker said. “Most of our team all played together for eight years, so we had a really strong bond. Our team also had a great year winning the Alliance championship, before making top 8 in the 2022 OHL Cup.”

McConnell-Barker, who wore the ‘A’ on his chest last season with the Jr. Knights, also suited up for one game last season with the GOJHL’s Komoka Kings.

Prior to last season, the 5-foot-11 and 172 pound player also played forward with the London Jr. Knights Under-15 team in 2020-2021, before switching to defence with the London Jr. Knights Under-16 team in 2021-2022.

“Before last season, I was playing forward, then I decided to switch to defence for my year with the London Jr. Knights Under-16 team,” McConnell-Barker said. “I had a great season last year, but I’m never satisfied and I want to keep improving everyday.”

After being drafted by the Soo Greyhounds in the 3rd round (48th overall) in the 2022 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection this past April, McConnell-Barker then ended up signing with the Hounds during their 2022 preseason.

In 4 games played with the Hounds during the 2022 preseason, McConnell-Barker scored once and set up another.

“Brodie enjoyed a tremendous camp and exhibition season with the Greyhounds and we know he will be motivated to work hard with us to be ready for the next level,” said Soo Thunderbirds assistant coach and general manager Jamie Henderson.

Brodie McConnell-Barker, who is the newest member of the Soo Thunderbirds, is also the younger brother of Soo Greyhounds forward and New York Rangers 2022 3rd round pick Bryce McConnell-Barker.

“It feels pretty neat to be playing in the same city as my brother Bryce,” McConnell-Barker said. “It was also pretty surreal to get to play a couple times with him during the preseason this year with the Greyhounds.”

McConnell-Barker and the T-Birds will be in action tomorrow night at 6:45 p.m. in Sudbury, when they will take on the Timmins Rock in day 1 of the NOJHL Showcase.

“This year, I plan on bringing an offensive style to the team and I want to be relied on in all situations to be put on the ice,” McConnell-Barker said. “I also plan to help the team win games and I want to be the best player that I can be.”

BARK! BARK! BARK!

With the addition of McConnell-Barker, the Soo Thunderbirds now have a total of three Soo Greyhound draft picks on their roster, along with Austin Fellinger (11th round in 2021) and Landon Miller (2nd round in 2022).

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