Blaze sign Blue Jackets draft pick

Coventry Blaze have signed Canadian forward Matt Marquardt for the 2016/17 Elite League season.

Marquardt was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 7th round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

The 28-year-old joins Blaze from the ECHL’s Florida Everblades where he has scored 68 goals with 97 assists in 230 games.

Marquardt has also racked up nearly 300 games in the AHL and has European experience on his CV, having iced for ESV Kaufbeuren in Germany DEL2 during the 2014/15 season.

Head Coach Danny Stewart said: “Matt is a big signing for us. I felt we needed a guy of his size and physicality that will produce and play on our top two lines.

“He is a character guy that has produced at both the ECHL and AHL level. He’s a big presence on and off the ice and brings many leadership qualities which would explain him being a captain last season in Florida.

“In this league you need to score goals a lot of different ways and he brings a different element to what we already have.

“I’m excited at this signing and would like to thank Coventry University as our relationship with them played a huge role in finalising his deal.”

Marquardt, who will study for an MBA at the university, added, “I’m very excited to join the Coventry Blaze. The Elite League has come so far in a short period of time.

“I’ve heard nothing but great things about the organisation and the great fanbase. There’s nothing better to hear as a player.

“At this point in my life education is something I hold in high regard – the opportunity to play professionally and further my education is something I’m excited about.”

(Image permission: Corey Perrine)

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