Coventry Blaze have announced the signing of Canadian forward Marc-Olivier Vallerand.
The 28-year-old joins the club following a successful season in the Austrian EBEL with HC Bolzano-Bozen.
In 61 games Vallerand scored 15 goals with 12 assists to help the Italian-based side to a fourth place regular season finish and play-off semi-final berth.
Vallerand’s European experience also extends to time in the Swiss NLB, Denmark’s Metal Ligaen and a hugely productive year in Italy’s Serie A in 2014/15, where his 32 goals and 25 assists in 34 games led the league for scoring.
Before establishing a career in Europe, Vallerand was a stand-out in the ECHL with the Greenville Road Warriors.
Between 2010 and 2014 he scored 115 goals with 130 assists in 272 games to top the Greenville leaderboard for all-time goals, assists and points.
His stellar play in the ECHL also earned the dynamic winger a number of call-ups to the AHL with Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Rockford Ice Hogs and Norfolk Admirals.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said: “We wanted to get a little more dynamic up front and with Marc, we have done that.
“He has consistently put the puck in the net wherever he’s played and that’s something we needed a bit more of. He has top end speed at this level and brings us that element of skill we were looking for at the same time.
“He will be here to score no doubt, but what I also liked is that he’s a player that can create opportunities for other guys as well and plays hard 200 feet.
“This is a big signing for us and will complement our current group very well.”
Vallerand added: “I’m super excited to have a fresh start and be a big part of a successful year in Coventry.
“I’m looking forward to meeting everyone from my teammates, to the staff and to the fans. I’ll give my heart out on the ice and hopefully score a couple of game winning goals.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the country and the league plus Danny and Robbo (ex-teammate Brett Robinson) worked really hard to make this deal work and I’m just glad it did.
“From the first phone call I could feel the love and that’s a great thing for a player.”
(Image permission: P. Humbert)