Young Commits To Saint Mary’s Cardinals

By Matt Stefano

He just graduated from the Soo Thunderbirds this past season, and now he’s going to continue playing hockey while attending university this fall.

The Soo Thunderbirds have announced today that defenceman Warner Young has committed to the NCAA Division 3 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Cardinals for the 2021-2022 season.

Young, who played two seasons with the Soo Thunderbirds from 2019-2021, scored 8 times and set up 35 others in 70 career games.

“It feels great to become a Cardinal,” said Young. “I went out to Saint Mary’s campus for a visit and it felt like somewhere I can see myself enjoying my next four years.”

In his rookie season with the Thunderbirds in 2019-2020, the Newberry, Michigan native led all Thunderbird blueliners in scoring with 31 points, including 3 goals and 28 assists in 53 regular season games.

“It felt great,” said the Newberry, Michigan native. “I owe a lot of that to my teammates, they were really good players.”

Young, who had 28 assists in his first season with the Thunderbirds, tied the franchise record for most assists by a rookie defenceman in a regular season, joining Steven Bellini (2018) and Barnabas Birkeland (2003).

“That’s one I owe to all the guys we had during my first year. They were great players that found a way to score when I got them the puck, but it’s a cool feeling to have a record with Bellini and Birkeland,” said Young.

Following his successful rookie season with the Thunderbirds, the Newberry, Michigan native was also named the Thunderbirds Defenceman of the Year.

“It was an honour that the guys and staff felt like I deserved that award and I’m very proud I won that one,” said Young.

In his second and final season with the Thunderbirds in 2020-2021, the twenty-one-year old blueliner scored 5 times and set up 7 others in 17 regular season games.

“This season was definitely different and a struggle, but I’m just glad we were able to play when other teams weren’t,” said Young.

This past season, the Newberry, Michigan native also led all NOJHL blueliners in unassisted goals with 2.

“That’s a funny one, but I honestly just got lucky,” said the Newberry, Michigan native.

During the 2020-2021 season, Young also served as one of the Thunderbirds assistant captains for their home games.

“It was a privilege and an honour. I’m glad the staff and my teammates thought of me as a leader and it meant a lot,” said the twenty-one-year old.

Young, who will now be playing hockey for Saint Mary’s University this fall in Winona, Minnesota, will also be taking the Business program while going to school there.

“I will be getting a double major in business marketing and business entrepreneurship. I have always wanted to go the business route and SMU has a great program for business,” said Young.

Young, who is now going from a Thunderbird to a Cardinal, will also be back playing hockey in his hometown country after spending the past two seasons playing hockey in Soo Canada.

“It was awesome playing my last two seasons with the Thunderbirds. I can’t say enough good things about the staff and teammates that I had. I truly loved my time in the Soo and it will always have a special place in my heart,” said the Newberry, Michigan native.

(Photo of Warner Young credit to Bob Davies)

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