Thunderbirds Bring Back Pestuka

Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds are proud to announce the return of forward Jiri Pestuka who has agreed to a three-year deal.  Per team regulations, financial details have not been disclosed. 

Pestuka, 24, returns to Carolina after a strong first season with the Thunderbirds. Pestuka was a more than point per game player last year with 42 points (18G-24A) in 38 games as part of Carolina’s inaugural season. “I am very excited to return to the Thunderbirds this season.” Pestuka said. “Working with [Head Coach] Andre [Niec] as long as I have has been great. I know exactly what he wants out of me and I hope to keep him happy throughout this season. We have a good relationship that I hope continues to grow.” 

A native of Prostejov, Czech Republic, Pestuka spent his first four years playing in the Czech junior system. He had spent time on the Czech Republic U17 and U19 junior teams before he made the jump to American hockey, playing in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) with the El Paso Rhinos. While there, he was a part of their 2013-14 WSHL Championship season. Pestuka began his professional career in 2015 and is going into his fourth year in the FHL. He spent his first two years with the Berlin River Drivers, where he was teammates with Head Coach Andre Niec. In Pestuka’s FHL career he has a 1.09 points per game average (63G-80A-143P in 131 games) during stints in Berlin and Carolina. 

“Were excited to have Jiri back in the mix this season." Head Coach Andre Niec commented. General Manager/President Scott Brand said:  “As far as I know, this is the first time in the Federal Hockey League that a player has been signed to a 3-year deal. Pestuka is the type of player and person you want long term in your hockey family. Obviously, if he has the opportunity to advance to a higher level then he will be moved up, but if he finishes his career in the FHL, he will remain a Thunderbird.”

The Carolina Thunderbirds are proud members of the Federal Hockey League, now in its ninth season. Carolina will be starting its second season of play, looking to build on the success of its inaugural season where the Thunderbirds posted an 87-point season with a record of 25-24-5-2 (W-L-OTW-OTL). The Thunderbirds also set an FHL record with over 65,000 fans through the doors in their first season and six sellout crowds. Season and group tickets are on sale now by calling (336) 774-GOAL(4625).