Nottingham Panthers and Manchester Storm were active as they announced signings to bolster their rosters ahead of the Elite Series.
Panthers, who are announcing a signing a day, have unveiled Christophe Boivin as the latest player for their team, joining from USports side University of Québec-Trois-Rivières Patriotes.
Manchester Storm also brought in their first new import face as netminder Sean Bonar agreed to join Ryan Finnerty’s side from ECHL side Jacksonville IceMen.
For Panthers, Boivin is another talent who come through the university system and a player Director of Hockey Guillaume Doucet admits could have gone elsewhere if the circumstances were different.
— The Nottingham Panthers | #2021EliteSeries (@PanthersIHC) March 25, 2021
“If you look at the last few years, some of the guys who graduate from the big universities get great opportunities so it was a chance for us to try and get a player like Christophe, who, in any other season might have declined,” he said.
“He’s someone who’s had a lot of success at USports level and is another guy where there was big expectation on him for this season.
“The pandemic badly affected college sport, which really affected his plan, but he’s stayed in shape and was hoping for something to come his way.
“When I talked to him a couple of weeks ago, he was excited about the prospect of coming to Europe to play pro hockey.
“Christophe is a fast, offensive player and has proven he can produce offensively and can be a point a game kind of guy.”
BREAKING | Manchester Storm sign netminder Sean Bonar from Jacksonville Icemen! The vastly experienced Canadian joins the club ahead of the #2021EliteSeries! #WeAreStorm | #Manchester | #ATTWWY pic.twitter.com/DHbJzgo2MX
— Manchester Storm | #2021EliteSeries (@Mcr_Storm) March 25, 2021
Boivin, who plays on the left wing, picked up 97 points in 77 games in his three years with the Patriotes and will be hopeful of producing good numbers in Nottingham.
Meanwhile, Storm have added Bonar to their line-up as they shored things up between the pipes with an netminder who could be a big player for them.
Bonar started out at Indy Fuel and has played minutes for Brampton Beast, Fort Wayne Komets, Wichita Thunder and Atlanta Gladiators since turning pro in 2014.
He has already 18 appearances in the ECHL this season and and leaves North America with a career record of 137 games played and will arrive in Manchester next week, the club have announced.