Samuels-Thomas won’t return to Falcons

Sophomore forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas won’t return to the Bowling Green Falcon hockey team next season,
coach Chris Bergeron said Tuesday afternoon.
The 6-foot-3, 198-pound wing has been the team’s leading scorer in each of his two seasons, totaling 46
points in 71 games. He had 20 goals and 26 assists in his two seasons at BG.
“It was his decision to leave,” said Bergeron, who will start his second season in the fall.
“Obviously, he had two very good years here at Bowling Green and we wish him well in the future.”
Bergeron said he was under the impression Samuels-Thomas “was going to pursue a pro career. He felt it
was time for him to pursue a pro hockey career. “
Samuels-Thomas was a seventh-round draft choice of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers in 2009.
The resident of South Windsor, Conn could transfer to another school if he doesn’t turn pro. But if he
transfers to another NCAA Division I school, he would have to sit out next season under NCAA rules
before starting play at his new school in the 2012-13 season.
“At this point, I know he’s kept that option open,” Bergeron said of Samuels-Thomas transferring. “I
don’t know how realistic that is as an option for him. I expect him to start his pro career, but I know
he’s looked into transferring.”
When Samuels-Thomas is playing well, he can be one of the best players in the Central Collegiate Hockey
Association.
He’s a terrific power forward because of his size and strength, and offensive skill. He’s adept at
controlling the puck down low in the offensive zone and creating scoring chances. He’s able to do that
because he’s excellent at protecting the puck and fighting off defenders.
He had 11 goals and 14 assists in 35 games as a freshman, and nine goals and 12 assists in 36 games this
season. He also had 38 penalties for 76 minutes, six power-play goals and an on-ice rating of minus-4.

But he struggled defensively and with a consistent work ethic, and was a non-factor at times. He was a
healthy scratch five times this season, including four times in one 11-game stretch during the second
half.
“Pro hockey is a big jump for anybody and Jordan’s no exception,” Bergeron said. “Pro hockey is a
difficult challenge. Is he ready for it? That’s not for me to decide.”
His sophomore season came to a premature end when Bergeron sent him to the locker room immediately after
leaving the penalty box at Michigan March 12 in Game 2 of their Central Collegiate Hockey Association
playoff series.
Samuels-Thomas received a double-minor for cross-checking and high-sticking at 15:37 of the second period
with the Falcons trailing 2-0.
And when Michigan’s Lee Moffie scored on the power play at 18:27 for a 3-0 lead, Bergeron directed
Samuels-Thomas to the locker room. Samuels-Thomas didn’t return for the third period.
Rumors of Samuels-Thomas’ departure from the program have been around since his freshman season. Those
rumors became even more widespread this season once he was a healthy scratch for the first time Nov. 20
against Miami.
Samuels-Thomas is the sixth player to leave the program since the start of the season.
It was announced last week that sophomores Jerry Freismuth, Nathan Pageau and Reed Rushing wouldn’t
return. Freismuth and Pageau are forwards, and Rushing is a defenseman.
Two other players — junior forward Brennan Vargas and freshman defenseman Michael Montrose — didn’t
return for the second half of this season.
Next season’s roster consists of 25 players, although additional players could be added. The roster
consists of 17 returning players and eight recruits. The veterans consist of two seniors, six juniors
and nine sophomores.
The 25 players for next season consist of three goalies, seven defensemen, 13 forwards and two players
who saw action at both forward and on defense last season.