After a quiet start to the off-season things have finally kicked into gear in the Elite League.
Announcements are being made on an almost daily basis regarding new additions, or players re-signing for another season.
Yet, with three months still to go until the season starts, there promises to be more twists and turns.
Last year’s regular season treble winners, Cardiff Devils, will be an attractive proposition for possible signings.
The Devils are one of the bookies favourites again for next year, but Sheffield Steelers and Belfast Giants are also likely to be challenging.
The Steelers, especially, will be able to take confidence from their victory over Cardiff in last season’s play-off final. However, if you do fancy betting on next season’s ice hockey, be sure to maximise your earnings via the matchedbets.com method.
The South Yorkshire club got fans excited recently by announcing the signing of Canadian forward Brad Ramsay. It will the first time the 24-year-old plays outside of North America, but he was signed off the back of strong recommendations by Levi Nelson and Geoff Walker.
“I was looking for some energy and Brady will bring that,” said Steelers’ boss Paul Thompson. “I believe he will be able to play up and down our line up at either centre or wing.”
Wherever he plays, Ramsay should be able to make himself a fan favourite with his energy and commitment.
The Nottingham Panthers have also been fairly busy so far. Whilst they may have lost former NHLer Brian McGrattan, they’ve brought in Canadian duo Tim Billingsley and Michael Garnett.
The former spent the past two seasons with ECHL side Brampton Beast, where he managed 21 assists as a defenseman, and comes recommended by club hero David Ling.
Netminder Garnett is also highly touted, having spent the last nine years in the KHL in Europe, and Panthers coach Corey Neilson identified him as a “difference maker” and someone “capable of dominating at this level”.
Whilst champions Cardiff have already announced the arrival promising British defender Craig Moore, perhaps even better news for their fans was that defender Gleason Fournier has signed on for another year.
The 25-year-old former NHL third-round draft pick scored 13 goals for the Devils last season and made 33 assists in 66 games. He was an important asset to the side, and the fact that he’s signed on for another year shows the Welsh club’s intentions to carry on from last term’s success.
There’s bound to be more movement in the new few months, but the signs suggest that EIHL is on an upward curve in terms of attracting top talent.