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Defencemen Niklas Tikkinen, Jeff Solow join Elite League’s Glasgow Clan

The Glasgow Clan have announced the arrivals of defencemen Niklas Tikkinen and Jeff Solow in an effort to boost their playoff bid in the second half of the season.

Niklas Tikkinen, now of the Glasgow Clan (Image: Manfred Binder)

The Glasgow Clan have announced the arrival of defencemen Niklas Tikkinen and Jeff Solow in an effort to boost their playoff push.

Glasgow Clan sign puck-moving defenceman Niklas Tikkinen

Tikkinen arrives in Glasgow from the Herlev Eagles, for whom he has recorded 97 points (27 goals, 70 assists) in 134 appearances in the Danish Metal Ligaen.

The 28-year-old has a wealth of experience from across Europe, with stops in Finland’s Liiga, Austria’s Alps Hockey League, and Sweden’s Allsvenskan on his résumé.

“Niklas is a puck moving defenceman, who is skilled and can play on our powerplay and has been known to put up some points in the Danish league in the last few years,” explained associate coach Dyson Stevenson.

“He can bring more offence to our defence and his points speak for themselves. He’s in good shape, has a lot of experience and he’s someone we’ve been watching for a while. He’s played in some top leagues so it’s good to finally get a deal done for him and I expect he’ll play some big minutes for us.”

Per the Clan, the Finn will debut in the Elite League once he receives his visa and international clearance.

Glasgow Clan recruit sturdy defender Jeff Solow

Solow joins the Clan from the ECHL’s Worcester Railers, for whom he contributed five assists in 16 appearances this season.

In his only previous campaign as a professional, the American recorded eight assists in 40 appearances for the Iowa Heartlanders.

“Jeff is a heart and soul kind of guy who stays at home in defence and blocks shots: he can execute some hits and is defensive-minded first,” said Stevenson.

Niklas Tikkinen - Jeff Solow, Iowa Heartlanders (Image: ECHL)

Jeff Solow, Iowa Heartlanders (Image: ECHL)

“It’s good to get him in and not really having a defensive defenceman, he’ll be relied upon for that kind of thing. While he doesn’t have a lot of experience, he’s played in the ECHL for the last couple of seasons and I’ve had some positive reports about him, particularly regarding his work ethic.”

The 26-year-old represented Merrimack College (DI) and SUNY-Oswego (DIII) in the NCAA, with most of his ice time sourced from the third division programme in New York.

Analysis: Will Solow and Niklas Tikkinen turn the Clan’s season around?

Jeff Solow has a distinct lack of experience. Period.

The Naples, Florida-born defenceman spent his junior career in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), which sits one level below the top tier United States Hockey League (USHL), and was only briefly a division one player in the NCAA.

However, he arrives in Glasgow with a well-defined remit: defend – and only defend. If he delivers in his own zone, the Clan will chalk it up as a win.

Tikkinen, by contrast, has more upside and a proven track record in high-level leagues on the continent.

The 28-year-old should slide into a top-four role on the Clan and will likely see power play time as his familiarity with the team builds.

The Elite League is more competitive than Denmark’s Metal Ligaen, but his recent offensive production implies he should quickly adapt to life in the United Kingdom.

The Clan desperately needed reinforcements – but will Tikkinen and Solow be able to turn the club’s season around? We’ll find out soon.

How will Niklas Tikkinen fair in the Elite League? Join the discussion by tweeting @BritIceHockey.

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