Thunderbirds advance five standouts to junior, college hockey
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The Colorado Thunderbirds had a busy last few weeks, announcing five player advancements and commitments to junior and college hockey.
Forward Baker Shore (pictured) has committed to play for Harvard University (ECAC Hockey) starting with the 2018-19 season. He will play his junior hockey for the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Chicago Steel before moving on to play at Harvard. The Cherry Hills Village product played on the Thunderbirds’ 16U National team in 2015-16.
Another forward and teammate of Shore’s last season, Windsor native Bryan Lockner, signed with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL). The Pats selected Lockner in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft in the third round (58th overall).
“Bryan is a young player we had identified a couple of years ago,” said Regina coach-GM John Paddock. “He’s a big part of our plans as an organization for years to come.”
Thunderbirds 15U goalie and Colorado Springs native Brock Gould then signed with the WHL’s Victoria Royals, the team that drafted him in the eighth round (170th overall) in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. He’ll be back with the T-Birds in 2016-17.
“Brock is a very promising goaltender who frankly surprised us with his technical skill, poise and athleticism all through camp,” Royals GM Cameron Hope said. “We are pleased to have Brock and his family join the Royals organization, and look forward to seeing him continue to develop.”
Colby Bukes, former Thunderbirds 16U National captain, has committed to Minnesota State University (WCHA) for the 2018-19 season and will play this year for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks.
Brayden Nicholetts, another Thunderbirds 16U National forward, signed with the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
“I think Drumheller is a great fit for me,” said Nicholetts. “I like the philosophy of hard work and being tough to play against every night. I think the coaches are very experienced and will help me improve. I’m very excited to get things started.”
The T-Birds’ 16U National team placed third last spring at the USA Hockey 16U Tier I Youth Nationals.