The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Soo Thunderbirds added another local forward to the mix on Thursday.
Just days after the team held its development camp, the Thunderbirds have signed Sault native Colby Arbour.
Arbour, who played high school hockey at St. Mary’s College locally, joins the team after a strong showing at camp over the weekend.
“He’s the type of person that brings the effort that we’re looking for,” said Thunderbirds general manager Jamie Henderson. “Even though he didn’t play hockey last year, he was in school and he’s in great shape and he showed it on the weekend. Every shift during the scrimmage, he was noticeable.”
Henderson added that, while Arbour may not be a vocal player in the dressing room, “he’s going to lead by example.”
“I’ve coached some of the guys that he played with at St. Mary’s on the U18 team and they couldn’t say enough good things about him,” Henderson added. “That’s what we’re looking to build here is great people.”
In a prepared statement announcing the signing, Thunderbirds coach Cole Jarrett spoke highly of the 20-year-old forward.
“He is the type of player and person that fits the identity we want to create,” Jarrett said. “Last weekend, he showed that he is a hard working player and fit right in. I’m sure he felt a little rusty, but you could see that he has a high compete level and will be a hard player to play against.”
As an older player, Henderson noted Arbour’s age as something that will be a help on what stands to be a younger NOJHL club for the Thunderbirds in 2021-22.
“We do have a younger team and we will have a younger team even if we pick up a couple of older guys,” Henderson said. “Physically, he can handle himself and that’s important in this league, assuming we get back to normal hockey, which we’re hoping for. We’re looking for guys that are going to bring it every day and push each other and get everyone to get to another level and help the team get to another level. He’s a guy that’s going to push guys and give maximum effort every day. That’s going to rase the intensity of practice and hopefully that translates into games.”
In a release, Arbour called the opportunity to join the Thunderbirds “an honour.”