Dragons sign prolific Finnish forward

Deeside Dragons have confirmed the signing of Finnish forward Markus Kankaanranta for the upcoming NIHL North Moralee D1 season.

The 28-year-old spent last season with Hamburg Crocodiles in the third tier of German hockey, scoring 15 goals with 26 assists in 38 games.

He has also spent time in the second and third level of hockey in his homeland, in addition to a spell with Bordeaux in France 2.

Player/Coach Scott McKenzie said: “I’ve taken a lot of time over the last three weeks to make sure we bring in the right player for our club.

“Markus comes with a high pedigree and will be a great asset to the hockey club. Losing Adrian (Palak) was always going to be difficult – in my opinion you cannot replace a player like him, but with Markus we’ve given ourselves a great opportunity to succeed.”

Kankaanranta joins returnee Filip Supa as the Dragons’ second import, while the club have also signed another five of last season’s squad including James Parsons and Matt Wainwright.

Telford Tigers NIHL have welcomed back Corey Goodison, James Smith, Callum Bowley and Dan Harrison to their roster.

Ben Simister and Matt Viney have also joined the club from Blackburn Hawks.

Finnish forward Mikko Sierman has signed for the Hawks, while Bobby Caunce has also been added to the squad after spending last season in D2N with Blackburn Eagles.

Ross Murray, Duncan Speirs, Daniel Abercrombie and Kieran Hobbins have all agreed another season with Solway Sharks.

Whitley Warriors have confirmed long-serving forward DJ Good returns for another year, while Billingham Stars have added Josh Nertney and Will Robson to their squad.

D2 promotion hopefuls Widnes Wild have signed ex-Sheffield Spartans trio Stuart Brittle, Nick Manning and Will Barron. Lee Kemp has also agreed a further season with the club.

Luke Curtis has been added to the Coventry Blaze roster.

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