Coventry Blaze have confirmed the signing of forward Liam Stewart for the 2016/17 Elite League season.
Stewart was part of the Los Angeles Kings’ programme during his junior years, before progressing to the WHL with the Spokane Chiefs.
He joined Quad City Mallards in the ECHL, before switching to the Alaska Aces. Stewart iced just 13 times for the Aces before injury cut short his first full professional season.
Despite being British-born Stewart will count as an import due to his overseas junior development.
Blaze Head Coach Danny Stewart said: “Liam is a very important signing for us – he adds to our depth which will be crucial next season.
“With many teams looking to play four lines next season it’s important we have capable guys that can take minutes away from our top six forwards and produce themselves.
“He has the ability to play wing and centre, he is a very capable penalty killer, very good on face-offs and very reliable at both ends of the ice.
“His season was cut short last year in Alaska due to injury, but he is healthy now and excited for this next challenge.”
Liam Stewart added: “I’ve been considering coming over to the Elite League for some time now – I just wasn’t sure which team it was going to be.
“I’ve watched highlights of the league and have some buddies who play there so knew it could be a league I wanted to play in.
“Seeing as I know a couple of guys like Ross Venus, Matt Selby and David Clements from playing with them on Team GB, I knew Coventry would be a good fit.
“One of the biggest things when I decided to sign in the Elite League was being able to come home and play good competitive hockey and also be close to family.
“I’m excited to get to work and get things rolling this season with the Blaze.”
(Image permission: Mark Thiessen)