Manchester Storm coach Ryan Finnerty believes he’s got a real talent on his hands in latest signing Maxime Fortier.
The 23-year-old spent this season with Bratislava Capitals in the Bet at Home Hockey League and helped them reach the play-offs, where they lost in the quarter finals.
Now he’s getting the chance to end the season in the UK and Finnerty reckons it’s a chance for the player to adapt to the game in the UK with a view to perhaps something longer term.
“You only have to look through his junior career and the interest of a handful of NHL teams to understand how talented this guy is going forward,” the Storm coach enthused.
“I know he has worked under a great coach in Peter Draisaitl in Europe already and has shared the locker with a few of our squad already.
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“We’re looking for Maxime to bring some speed, firepower and scoring to our forward lines. He has a great opportunity to earn himself a contract for next season and get to grips with British hockey.”
Before moving to Europe last year, Fortier spent two seasons between AHL side Cleveland Monsters and Jacksonville IceMen in the ECHL, playing 90 times between the two clubs, scoring 22 times and assisting with 27 further markers.
Before that, Fortier spent four full seasons with the storied Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) from 2014-18, producing 270 points (104G 106A) in 263 games.
In Slovakia, he played 41 games, scoring 11 and assisting in 10 for 21 for the season as they reached the last eight, but were eventually beaten in five games by Bolzano.
Fortier is Storm’s seventh import signing for the Elite Series, which begins on Saturday when they take on Coventry Blaze in the opening game.