Seattle Thunderbirds clinch spot in 2020 #WHLPlayoffs

Brian Liesse/Seattle Thunderbirds


The Seattle Thunderbirds are headed to the 2020 Western Hockey League Playoffs.

Their spot was confirmed following the conclusion of the 2019-20 WHL Regular Season, seeing them finish with a 24-32-4-3 record through 63 games for a 0.437 winning percentage.

Clinching the second wild card spot in the Western Conference, the Thunderbirds enjoyed moments of strong play throughout the regular season, including a four-game winning streak from January 5-17, 2020.

In a fiercely competitive U.S. Division, the Thunderbirds showed strength against their other playoff-bound U.S. Division rivals. They claimed four victories over the Portland Winterhawks, three against the Everett Silvertips, and had a single triumph over the Spokane Chiefs during the regular season.

Leading the Thunderbirds offensively this season, Andrej Kukuca impressed with 57 points (26G-31A), also leading the team in goals and assists. In his first full season with the Thunderbirds, Keltie Jeri-Leon found offensive success, nearly doubling his career point total with 41 points (23G-18A).

A standout rookie season from forward Conner Roulette has given the Thunderbirds high hopes for his future development. In the meantime though, his 39 points (19G-20A) tied for third among all skaters on the team to leave a strong mark from this season. That equalled the 39 points (15G-24A) put up by Payton Mount in his second full season with the Thunderbirds.

From the blue line, 2020 NHL Draft prospect Simon Kubicek turned in a 27-point (7G-20A) campaign for his second season in the WHL to lead all Thunderbird defencemen in scoring.

Philadelphia Flyers prospect Roddy Ross once again commanded the bulk of the time in net, posting a 20-21-4-3 record, 3.17 goals-against average, and a 0.908 save percentage in 2,835 minutes of action over 49 games.

The Thunderbirds are the 16th and final WHL member Club to qualify for the 2020 WHL Playoffs.

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