Edinburgh Capitals: One year on

Edinburgh Capitals were the last Elite League team to disappear from the ice hockey landscape in the UK (PHOTO: Ian Coyle)

It’s a year to the day that Edinburgh Capitals took to the ice for the last time as an Elite League club, losing their final game 4-3 to Nottingham Panthers at Murrayfield.

While some fans have adopted Murrayfield Racers since and others have found their hockey fix elsewhere, we take a look back at where the players that played on March 25, 2018 are now, 12 months after wearing that jersey for the last time.

Jordan McLaughlin (1) – Netminder

The teenager was thrown in action for the remainder of the season following injuries to Tyler Beskorowany and performed well, despite the difficult circumstances.  The 19-year-old joined NIHL side Solway Sharks and helped them into the play-offs this season and was also on a two-way deal with Glasgow Clan.

Denis Trakhanov (11) – Defenceman

The Moscow-born D-man was one of the last remnants of the Russian revolution under Dmitiri Khristich at the start of the campaign and stayed to the end, even scoring in what turned into the Caps final game.  He returned to previous club, KH Torun in Poland, making 42 appearances and scoring 5 + 16, helping them to the play-offs, where they lost in the quarter finals.

Mike Cazzola stayed in Scotland after leaving Edinburgh to go to Fife Flyers (PHOTO: Jillian McFarlane)

Mike Cazzola (13) – Centre

Cazzola stayed in Scotland for a second season to sign for the Capitals’ rivals, Fife Flyers where he has just helped them secure a place in the Elite League play-offs.  Cazzola was Edinburgh’s top scorer with 62 points and has 45 points (16+29) in Fife this season, becoming a popular player among the Flyers faithful.

Harry Ferguson (14) – Centre

Ferguson was in his second season in the Elite League and made just under 100 appearances all in at Edinburgh before heading down under for a spell with Bontany Swarm in New Zealand.  The 20-year-old began the UK season with Peterborough Phantoms before making the switch to Milton Keynes Lightning, making 46 appearances this year.

Sergei Banashkov (17) – Forward

The 32-year-old Russian-born forward picked up 25 points from his time in Scotland and returned to Kazahstan after leaving Edinburgh to sign for Ertis Pavlodar before leaving them after 22 games and heading to HK Almaty, where he played for a further 15 games, scoring 23 points across both teams.

Dillon Lawrence (18) – Centre

After first arriving on trial, Lawrence signed for the season and performed reasonably well in Edinburgh, before heading for a spell at Melbourne Ice in Australia for the summer, along with Caps team-mate Dylan Anderson.  He returned to the UK to sign for Danny Stewart’s Coventry Blaze and is in the thick of a three-way play-off scrap at the time of writing.

Dylan Anderson (19) – Centre/Winger

Anderson took 40 points from his 44 games in Edinburgh in a season where injury stopped him from playing more.  He was the second top scorer and went to Melbourne in the summer to prolong his season.  He joined Manchester Storm at the start of the season, but left in December after only a handful of appearances before seeing out the season with Tours in France’s second tier.

Tyler Plews (24) – Defenceman

The 21-year-old was developing the reputation of being an up and coming defenceman in Edinburgh, after making over 150 appearances for the Caps over three seasons and a popular member of the team to boot.  He joined Aaron Nell’s Swindon Wildcats this season and ended the campaign as a champion as they won NIHL South Division 1 and are now in their play-offs.

Kevin Forshall retired after Edinburgh Capitals’ final game, but returned to play for Murrayfield Racers (PHOTO: Ian Coyle)

Kevin Forshall (33) – Netminder

This game was to be Forshall’s swansong, retiring from the sport and got some ice time in the final ten minutes or so to say a proper farewell to the Capitals fans at the end.  However, retirement didn’t suit the 34-year-old and soon, he was back in action, joining Murrayfield Racers and helping them to the SNL title this season at their first attempt.

Michael Ireland (42) – Right Winger

The 22-year-old played primarily for the Caps’ SNL team in his career, but featured more for the Elite League side in the final season and did well in making the step up when called upon.  Stayed in Edinburgh to join Murrayfield Racers this season, picking up 28 points for them this season.

Konstantin Teslyukevich (43) – Defenceman

The six-foot Russian was an imposing presence in the Capitals defence and was brought in by Dmitiri Khristich, scoring two goals in 58 appearances.  He moved on to Poland to sign for MH Automatyka Gdansk, where he helped them to seventh place in the standings, but could go no further than the quarter finals in the play-offs.

Mike D’Orazio, along with Jock Hay, were put in charge as coaches after Dmitri Khristich left (PHOTO: Ian Coyle)

Mike D’Orazio (51) – Defenceman

D’Orazio was handed the reins after the departure of Khristich before Christmas and did a creditable job in difficult circumstances for his first tilt as a coach.  He kept playing as well, but decided to retire from playing and was given an opportunity to work with Toronto Junior Canadiens in the OJHL, working under Jeff Angelidis.

Ainars Podzins (66) – Left Winger/Centre

The Latvian was Khristich’s last signing before his departure and Podzins returned a creditable 20 points in 32 appearances in his brief spell in Scotland.  He went to Canberra Brave in Australia over the summer, then started the European season in France with Lyon before being re-united with former Caps team-mate Sergei Banashkov.

Rihards Grigors (78) – Defenceman

The 27-year-old was part of the club for a second season and made 80 appearances in the defensive lines for Capitals.  He moved on to sign for Milton Keynes Lightning at the start of the season, but left them in December and returned to Edinburgh, where he helped Murrayfield Racers win the SNL title.

Callum Boyd (89) – Forward

Boyd returned to Edinburgh at the start of last season after a season with Braehead Clan and played a part in a difficult campaign for the Caps.  The 25-year-old opted to keep playing in Edinburgh and joined Murrayfield Racers, where he was made an alternate captain as they scooped the SNL title.

Igor Valeyev (92) – Left Winger

The final game against Nottingham Panthers was the end of the road for the Russian, who retired at the conclusion of the campaign and has not, to date, taken a coaching role.  Valeyev made 49 appearances in Edinburgh, scoring eight goals and made 17 assists during his time in Scotland.

Tyler Beskorowany has been outstanding for Belfast Giants this season (PHOTO: William Cherry/Press Eye)

There were a handful of other players who didn’t play that day, but were part of the Capitals as they said goodbye to the Elite League.

Tyler Beskorowany (34) – Netminder

After returning the game following a period of hiatus, D’Orazio brought in ‘Besko’ to replace Pavel Shegalo and his time in Edinburgh was curtailed by injury.  The 28-year-old joined Belfast Giants this season and gained a great reputation, winning the Challenge Cup and in the thick of a title battle at the top of the Elite League.

Jay King (7) – Defenceman

Local lad King missed the final couple of weeks for Capitals through injury and had enjoyed five years learning his trade at the heart of the Capitals defence.  King left Edinburgh to join Basingstoke Bison in the NIHL and has done well in Ashley Tait’s team, helping them finish third in NIHL South Division One.

Patrik Moisio (70) – Left winger

A player who joined Edinburgh after a trial spell with Coventry Blaze, he never got the points production he was looking for and saw his time limited by injury.  Moved to German side Klagenfurter and has since gone to Ukraine and Poland.

Aaron Robertson (20) – Centre

Signed for Edinburgh from SNL side Kirkcaldy Kestrels and split his time between the Elite League side and the Caps SNL team, making 33 apperances for the top team.  Another player who won the SNL title with Murrayfield this season.

Calum Robertson (22) – Forward

The younger brother of Aaron returned to Fife after leaving the Capitals to join Fife Flyers, where he’s been involved in over 40 games in all competitions and has iced for Kirkcaldy Kestrels in the SNL as well.

WATCH: The full final game of Edinburgh Capitals as they lost 4-3 to Nottingham Panthers

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