He was just about to start his season this year in the CCHL, but now he’s coming over to the Soo to join the Thunderbirds!
The Soo Thunderbirds have announced today that they have acquired 2002-birth-year defenceman Zane Burleigh from the CCHL’s Renfrew Wolves in exchange for a player development fee.
Burleigh, who is from Horseshoe Valley, Ontario, stands 6’2 and weighs 212 pounds.
“I’m really excited to be joining the Soo Thunderbirds and I can’t wait to hit the ice with the guys and work with such an experienced coaching staff,” Burleigh said.
In four preseason games played this year with the Wolves, the 18-year-old recorded one assist.
“It was fun playing with a bunch of amazing guys on the Wolves during preseason and it was also great to getting back to playing games again,” Burleigh said.
Prior to joining the Wolves this past offseason, Burleigh played the 2020-2021 season with the GOJHL’s Pelham Panthers, in what was a different season due to COVID.
“I was very fortunate to play in Pelham last year as we were able to get on the ice at least five days a week during a hectic COVID season,” said the Horseshoe Valley native. “We also played 21 non-contact games from September to Christmas.”
Before starting his junior hockey career in 2020, the Horseshoe Valley native spent the 2019-2020 season with the North Central Predators Under-18 club, where he put up 2 goals and led all Predator blueliners in assists with 10 through 36 regular season games.
“It was nice to play close to home for the first time in a while as I had played in the GTHL the year before,” Burleigh said. “We had a very talented team with players moving on to the OHL, CCHL and the NOJHL.”
Burleigh, who was originally born in London, Ontario, grew up in Horseshoe Valley, which is just 14 minutes north of Barrie.
“Living outside of Barrie, I attended a few Barrie Colts hockey games during childhood, but growing up, I found myself more intrigued with the NCAA,” said Burleigh.
Burleigh, who will be turning 19-years-old this December, will now be oldest defenceman on the Soo Thunderbirds.
“Zane was a player who became available and we jumped at the opportunity and we’re really excited that he chose to come here given the number of opinions he had. He should fit in great in our room and he’ll be a valuable addition on the ice as well,” said Soo Thunderbirds assistant coach and general manager Jamie Henderson.