Blue Ridge finds their "skating cowboy" with signing of Pro Defenseman Brice French

by Charles Ryan

Wytheville, VA – The Blue Ridge Bobcats have signed Pro Defenseman Brice French to a professional Tryout.

French spent last season skating with the Carolina Thunderbirds, playing 40 games with two goals, three assists, and five points. 

Playing as a true defender his points are not the stat fans should pay attention to though. When looking at the stat line for French his most notable is his penalty minutes sitting at 51 last season. What this means for the Bobcats is they have a player who is going to bring the aggression out on the ice and use it to stop pucks and get himself between attackers and the crease. 

Most times fans will find French hanging back more on the attack running the backend of the forecheck to stop transitioning plays from opponents as they try to break through neutral ice this season.

Prior to his professional career, the 23-year-old Fairbanks Alaska native played for the Soo Eagles (2019-2020) in the NOJHL, the Texas Roadrunners (2020-2021) in the NA3HL, the Sheridan Hawks (2020-2021) in the NA3HL, and Northland College (2021-2022) where he played five games before joining the Danbury Hat Tricks for the remainder of their season.

French is seen as the “Skating Cowboy” for the team, spending his offseason working different rodeo events.

His physicality and defensive zone capabilities are some of the reasons Head Coach Vojtech Zemlicka says he wanted to sign French.

“Brice is another guy who will strengthen our leadership group. He likes to play a physical simple game and keeps opponent players honest. The defensive zone is where his strength is and this season I am looking for Brice to do a little more and support the offense when there’s an opportunity. I believe we will see big things from Brice this year. Another reason why I wanted Brice here is that he keeps everyone on the team and especially himself accountable,” Zemlicka said.

You can catch Brice French and the rest of the Blue Ridge Bobcats for their home opener and the start of the inaugural season on Friday, October 20th at 7:30 p.m. inside the Apex Center(The Den). Don't miss any of the action this season and pick up your season tickets now at

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