The Adirondack Thunder come into the 2021-22 season with a clean slate with which to work. Friday evening, they added the first three brush strokes to what they hope will develop into a masterpiece.

Those three strokes came in the form of three players signing with the franchise for the upcoming season. Forwards Shane Harper, Pete MacArthur and Rob Bordson were all unveiled to the fans and the media at the end of last week, and will all suit up for the Thunder when the new season kicks off in October of 2021. As Greg Brownell of the Post Star wisely pointed out, each player has a unique connection to the Capital Region. In addition to that, each player finds themselves at a different point in their career, with each looking to find a path to the pinnacle of hockey leagues, the NHL.

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I'll start with Shane Harper, who has had a number of stops in the Capital Region, and a cup of coffee at hockey's highest level. After going undrafted out of junior hockey, Harper signed a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers organization, and played in parts of four seasons with the Flyers' AHL affiliate at the time, the Adirondack Phantoms.

He last played with Adirondack in 2013, and returns to Glen Falls eight years later for another kick at the can. He also briefly returned to the region in 2016-17, playing 19 games with the AHL's Albany Devils. Oh yeah, he scored his first NHL goal during that eight-year stretch, as well.

Pete MacArthur is a Clifton Park native, and returns to the Adirondack Thunder for the third time. A veteran of five AHL seasons and seven ECHL seasons, MacArthur is enjoying a career "rebirth" of sorts. After his career nearly ended with concussion issues after the 2018-19 season, he's back in Adirondack to continue chasing his dream.

Rob Bordson, meanwhile, will also embark on his third trip to the region to join the Adirondack franchise. He first played with the team in 2010-11, when the team was the Phantoms, and the AHL affiliate of the Flyers. He was with the team until 2014, before returning in 2015-16, when the team was officially the Thunder, and played in the ECHL.

The Thunder have set the bar high with their first three signings, and I'm very excited to watch as the team continues to take shape.

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