The Drayton Valley Jr. A Thunder have named Leighton Grey as their team president ahead of the 2021-22 season.
“I am very pleased and honoured to be asked to serve as team president,” said Grey, who is also part of the ownership group.
“The Thunder are a very proud organization with a rich history and a promising future. Being part of the ownership group of a Junior A Hockey Club is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and I am so very excited to have been invited by Cindy and Monte Waronek into the Thunder hockey family.”
Grey is pleased to announce that a big name has also joined the organization, “Hockey Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr has also joined the hockey club and will be an exciting presence on our Board and as a goodwill ambassador for our hockey club.”
Also announced is Eric Thurston returning as head coach and GM. “He is definitely the straw that stirs the drink for our team,” said Grey.
With the pandemic taking control of most of the 2020-21 season, the Thunder did not see as much ice as they had in the past. Grey said his main objectives is to continue the success of the team and to help navigate the new post-pandemic world with the team.
“We want to continue to attract fine young men to our program who will buy into the team-oriented approach of our experienced coaching staff,” said Grey, with the ultimate goal to bring an AJHL Championship to Drayton Valley.
Two other short-term goals are to host the AJHL Showcase, which we were runner-up to Brooks for in 2021, and to develop The Thunder Hockey Academy, which will be a feeder system for the big team.
Heading into 2021-22, my sense is that the dominant team feeling is guarded optimism. Everyone wants to return to normal next season, especially in terms of getting the season started and live fans back in the building.
He added that “the scouting staff has done a tremendous job of recruiting top talent to the hockey club.”
The Thunder will host two prospect camps in July. The first will occur in Leduc (9-11 July) and the second will take place in Cochrane (16-17 July).