SUNRISE, FL- The Florida Panthers, National Hockey League affiliate of the Springfield Thunderbirds, announced on Tuesday that they have returned defenseman MacKenzie Weegar back to the Springfield Thunderbirds. It was Weegar’s first call-up to the NHL with the Florida Panthers. The 23-year old defenseman was selected in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Weegar has logged 51 games with the Thunderbirds during the 2016-17 campaign scoring 12 goals and registering 17 assists for 29 points, setting career highs in goals and points. Weegar represented the Thunderbirds in the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic on the Atlantic Division team back in January.

The Thunderbirds also announced that forward Rihards Burkarts and defenseman Colton Saucerman have been returned to the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL.

Saucerman was signed to professional tryout agreement by the Springfield Thunderbirds over the weekend and played in one game against the Albany Devils in a 3-0 victory, but was held off of the scoresheet.

Burkarts, a 21-year old 5’9, 185-pound forward out of Jurmala, Latvia played in three games for the Thunderbirds since being called up back on February 28th. He has appeared in 28 games during the 2016-17 year with the Manchester Monarchs, registering 15 goals and eight assists for 23 points. He recorded one assist during his stint with Springfield.

The Thunderbirds will hit the road this weekend with another three games in three days. They will travel to Rochester to take on the Americans at Blue Cross Arena on Friday and Sunday, with a match-up with the Marlies in Toronto sandwiched in on Saturday.

The Thunderbirds will be back in action at the MassMutual Center when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers next Wednesday, March 29th for a 7:05 P.M. puck drop


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