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Thunderbirds acquire local product in cross-border deal

The Soo Thunderbirds and Soo Eagles have struck a deal for forward Caleb Wood
2019-07-12 Soo Thunderbirds Stock BC (4)
File photo. Brad Coccimiglio/SooToday

The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Soo Thunderbirds have added a veteran presence to its lineup for the 2020-21 season.

The team announced on Monday the acquisition of Sault, Ont. native Caleb Wood in a deal with the Soo (Mich.) Eagles.

Wood is coming off a 20-goal season with the Eagles in 2019-20.

In 50 games with the club, Wood had 20 goals and 35 points in his second full season with the team.

In 105 NOJHL games with the Eagles, the 20-year-old scored 39 goals and 71 points.

Prior to joining the Eagles, Wood spent three seasons in the Great North Midget League locally and also played four games with the Thunderbirds in 2016-17 as an affiliate player. Wood scored once and had three points with the team.

In return for Wood, the Eagles received a player development fee from the Thunderbirds.

With the NOJHL planning to return to regular-season action on Oct. 15, the Thunderbirds roster continues to see movement as the team prepares for action.

In late-August, the Thunderbirds signed local defenceman Connor Toms, a third-round draft pick of the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds.

With the GNML’s Soo Jr. Greyhounds last season, Toms scored nine goals and 26 points in 38 regular-season games.

Toms is one of three members of the Jr. Greyhounds roster in 2019-20 to sign with the Thunderbirds.

In the spring, forwards Michael Chaffay and Ty Zachary also joined the team.

All three players saw action as affiliate players with the Thunderbirds last season as well.

The trade for Wood continues a busy stretch for the team ahead of the season.

In May, the team announced the hiring of Denny Lambert as head coach.

Lambert is taking over the job for John Parco, who had spent the past three seasons in the position.

The team inked 19-year-old forward Russell Oldham in July and has a number of veteran players in the mix who plan on returning as well.

The veterans who are pencilled in to return at this point include forwards Avery Rebek, Colton Hayes, Cooper Smyl, Brock Santa Maria, Will Josephson, and Kurtis Rogers as well as defencemen Warner Young, Dylan Parsons, and Jordan Broome.

In mid-August, the Thunderbirds dealt 19-year-old forward Mackenzie Walkington to the Saskatchewan Junior League’s Melville Millionaires.

Brad Coccimiglio

About the Author: Brad Coccimiglio

A graduate of Loyalist College’s Sports Journalism program, Brad Coccimiglio’s work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time.
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