There have been plenty of interesting signings so far, but let’s start with arguably the signing of the off-season so far in the Elite League and that is their acquisition of Scott Conway from the ECHL’s Allen Americans.
Conway has AHL and NCAA experience on his resume and has experienced the atmosphere in Belfast at The Friendship Four tournament when he played there with Providence College in 2017.
This, for me, is a huge statement of intent from the Giants as I expect many of the top EIHL teams would have been battling for his signature when it was known he was available.
Conway has piqued interest amongst British fans since appearing for the national side in the February 2020 Olympic Qualifying tournament, where he was the best British player on the ice in my opinion.
His eventual route to the Elite League appeared to be a strong possibility then and now it’s a reality.
Add to the fact that he counts as a British player due to being born in Basingstoke and playing in the EIHA junior ranks for four seasons makes this is a great pick-up by Belfast.
With his speed and ability to play either forward of defence, this is a very shrewd addition for Aaron Fox.
Down the M1 in Nottingham the Panthers acquired Finnish forward Simon Suoranta, a player who has spent ten straight seasons in the Liiga, winning two championships with Kärpät in 2013/14 and 2014/15.
While not a prolific points scorer, it is expected he will provide some point scoring punch to the Nottingham forward lines.
Cardiff Devils are beginning to adjust to life after Ben Bowns by signing a second import netminder as Taran Kozun joins them from the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers, joining Mac Carruth to provide a strong looking goaltending tandem for the Devils.
Delivered. 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/3jTu7tnIJs
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) July 28, 2021
It was also good to see the Glasgow Clan start to assemble their roster after uncertainty regarding the Braehead Arena with netminder Shane Starrett and forward Colin Campbell becoming the first signings for new head coach Malcom Cameron.
Finally, how good was it to see Liam Kirk sign his entry level NHL contract with Arizona Coyotes this week?
It is no more than he deserves and is fair reward for the hard work he has put in to get where he is and earn such an opportunity for himself.
Now begins more hard work to become the first British trained player to play in the NHL. I’ve always been mightily impressed when I’ve spoke to or interviewed him, he has an incredibly mature head on his young shoulders and if anyone can do it, it’s him.
See you next week.
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