The Seattle Thunderbirds Mission Statement
Our mission is to uphold the Western Hockey League mission of providing affordable family entertainment in the form of high-caliber, competitive hockey, and to develop our players and staff in a positive professional direction. By establishing the Seattle Thunderbirds in this way we make a dynamic contribution to the Greater Seattle community. The Thunderbirds are dedicated to developing the players’ athletic, educational, and professional talents.
Thunderbird players must attend high school until they graduate grade 12. Players that have graduated are encouraged to attend local area colleges, such as Green River Community College or the University of Washington. All education expenses are paid by the team. Players attend Kentwood High School. Practice is at 3 p.m. daily, so as not to interfere with school.Seattle is located on the west coast of the United States, two and a half hours south of Vancouver, B.C. Although snow is rare, there is skiing and other snow recreation an hour away.
About the Western Hockey League (WHL)
- Established in 1966, the WHL consists of 22 member Clubs – 17 based in Canadian markets (five in British Columbia, five in Alberta, five in Saskatchewan and two in Manitoba) and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
- The WHL is a member of the Canadian Hockey League together with the Quebec and Ontario Hockey Leagues. The CHL membership consists of 60 Clubs – 51 in Canada and 9 in the U.S.
WHL Player Development
- The WHL had 127 alumni on 2019-20 NHL Opening Day rosters.
- The WHL had 7 players selected in the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and 28 players total selected in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
- The WHL is the leading provider of hockey scholarships in Western Canada.
- For every season a player plays in the WHL, they receive a full year guaranteed Scholarship, which includes tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees, to a post-secondary institution of their choice.
- The WHL Scholarship, combined with additional financial assistance from Universities in Western Canada, makes Western Canada’s Premiere Hockey Scholarship equivalent to any other scholarship offer available in North America today.
- Since 1993, the WHL has awarded over 6,000 WHL Scholarships representing an investment in excess of $25 million by WHL member Clubs.
- The WHL awarded a record 405 scholarships to current and graduate players during the 2018-19 academic year.
- The WHL and Athabasca University have entered into a partnership which allows players in all WHL centers to access University courses online while playing in the League.
- Close to 70% of all players in the Canadian University West Conference are WHL graduates.
WHL’s Support to Minor Hockey
- The WHL is the leading financial contributor in Western Canada to local and provincial Minor Hockey programs.
- Each year the WHL and its member Clubs contribute over $1 million annually in support of local Minor Hockey and charities in Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest where WHL Franchises are located.