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T-Birds Sign Sam Popowich

Popowich was the 91st overall pick in the 2018 Bantam Draft

KENT, August 31, 2018 — Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge today announced forward Sam Popowich has signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement with the team.

Popowich, from Camrose, Alberta, was selected by the T-Birds in the fifth round, 91st overall, at the 2018 Bantam Draft in Red Deer, Alberta on May 3.

“Sam is a tremendous competitor and was one of the top scorers for his Camrose team,” said La Forge. “His hockey IQ, history of production and motor are very good assets.”

This past season Popowich played in 34 games with the Camrose Red Wings Bantam AAA team and had 19 goals and 26 assists for 45 points.

Popowich1
Sam Popowich in the T-Birds locker room.

“It feels amazing first of all to sign with the T-Birds,” said Popowich. “When I came into the rink for the first time I knew this is where I wanted to be. When you put on the T-Birds jersey it feels right to me and I feel I belong here and I want to be here.”

“I think as a family we are extremely excited for Sam. This has been a goal of his for a long time,” said Sam’s father Ryan Popowich. “We’re very proud of him.”

Popowich is the sixth member of the 2018 Bantam Draft class to sign with the team. Conner Roulette, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was the team’s second second-round selection and he signed on June 5. Mekai Sanders, from Gig Harbor, Washington was the team’s ninth-round selection and he signed on June 19. Kai Uchacz, from De Winton, Alberta, was the team’s first-round selection and he signed on August 20. Lucas Ciona, from Edmonton, Alberta, was the team’s first second-round selection and he signed on August 24. Thomas Milic, from Coquitlam, British Columbia, was the team’s third round selection and he signed on August 28.

In addition to the 2018 Bantam Draft class signings, the T-Birds signed 2002-born forward Matthew Rempe on August 29 and 2002-born forward Jared Davidson on August 30.

By signing a WHL Standard Player Agreement, Popowich is guaranteed a WHL Scholarship for every year he plays in the WHL. A player is able to attend any career enhancing institution of his choice, including universities, colleges, technical institutes, trade schools, or any other institution which will help the player achieve his academic and career goals.

For each season played in the WHL, a player receives a one-year post-secondary scholarship, which includes: Tuition, Compulsory Fees and Required Textbooks.

The WHL provides the top young hockey talent in western Canada and the United States with the opportunity to develop their skills on the ice at the highest possible level, without compromising their academic goals. The WHL is committed to recognizing academic excellence.

The WHL provides the top young hockey talent in western Canada and the United States with the opportunity to develop their skills on the ice at the highest possible level, without compromising their academic goals. The WHL is committed to recognizing academic excellence.

The T-Birds start the preseason at the Delta Hotels Preseason Classic in Everett. They will play their first game at the Classic against the Vancouver Giants on Friday, August 31, at 11:30am. Classic play will continue the following day as the T-Birds face the Everett Silvertips Saturday, September 1 at 7pm. The Classic ends for the T-Birds on Sunday, September 2, as they play the Spokane Chiefs at 3pm.

Preseason play continues for the T-Birds at the Red Lion Hotels’ Preseason Tournament at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. The T-Birds will begin the tournament on Thursday, September 6, against the Spokane Chiefs at 3pm. Tournament play will conclude on Friday, September 7 with a matchup against the Kootenay Ice at 3pm.

The T-Birds wrap up preseason play with back-to-back games against the Everett Silvertips. They will play on Tuesday, September 11, at 7:05pm at the accesso ShoWare Center. The T-Birds will travel to the Angel of the Winds Arena on Saturday, September 15, to play the Silvertips at 7pm in their final preseason game. Tickets for the preseason game on September 11 are now on sale.

The T-Birds start the 2018-19 Western Hockey League regular season against the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday, September 22 at 6:05pm at the ShoWare Center.

Season Tickets for 2018-19 season are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

T-Birds single game tickets for the 2018-19 regular season are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the accesso ShoWare Center box office.

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