Sheffield Steelers have confirmed that Russian forward Nikolai Lemtyugov has signed for the club, as exclusively revealed by British Ice Hockey two weeks ago.
The 33-year-old winger becomes the club’s first Russian player after agreeing to the come to the UK over any possible interest from the KHL.
And Steelers coach Aaron Fox knows all about him having coached him in Croatia with EBEL side Medvescak Zagreb last season.
“I had him for a while with me last year and you could see his talent level was at another level and that was after missing extended time because of injury,” the Steelers boss said.
“He has had a full off-season working out and will come to camp in top shape ready to go. He played quite a few games with John Armstrong last year so it’s nice to have someone he knows here as well.”
As we revealed, Lemtyugov has over 400 games of experience in the KHL, between regular season and play-off games, along with just under 100 games in the AHL, playing with Peoria Rivermen.
He spent last season with Zagreb to start with before seeing out the campaign in South Korea with Anyang Halla in the Asian League.
The signing is another major statement as Sheffield look to get themselves back among the top places, having finished mid-table last season.
And Fox spoke of what his former winger will bring to his new club when the season begins next month.
He added: “Nikolai is a high end power forward who is extremely skilled and I expect to be a game changer for us.
“He can play a physical game when needed and is really strong on pucks in ozone. He can play both wing positions and is also really good on the powerplay.
“His English is good enough and has great character in the dressing room. We actually signed him a few weeks ago, but with a KHL out clause, which has now passed, he is 100% committed to the Steelers.”