One way or another, Connor Toms will be remaining at home to play junior hockey this season.
If the 16-year old defenseman does not make the roster of the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, he will man the blue line for the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
Thunderbirds general manager Trev Zachary has confirmed the signing of the medium sized defender, who was a third round pick, 44th overall, by the Greyhounds at the 2020 OHL priority selections draft.
Toms netted nine goals, 17 assists, 26 points in 38 regular season games for the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Midget Hockey League in 2019-2020
The skilled skater is not short on hockey bloodlines as the son of Jeff Toms, who as a hulking left winger, played three full seasons in the OHL with the Greyhounds after being a 13th-round draft pick in 1991.
A classic overachiever, the elder Toms was a member of the Greyhounds 1993 Memorial Cup championship team before ending his OHL career in superb style during the 1993-1994 season with 52 goals, 45 assists, 97 points.
Meanwhile, the signing of young Toms by the Thunderbirds follows the earlier commitments to the NOJHL team by several other locals, including rookie forwards Michael Chaffay and Ty Zachary.
And locals with veteran status who have signed up to play another NOJHL season with the Thunderbirds include forwards Avery Rebek, Cooper Smyl, Brock Santa Maria and Kurtis Rogers.
Former National Hockey League journeyman winger Denny Lambert, who also played and coached in the OHL with the Greyhounds, will debut as the Thunderbirds new head coach this coming season.
Lambert will be assisted by fellow newcomers to the staff, Micky Sartoretto, Jeremy Stevenson and Aidan Wright.