Stewart applies fine Finnish to Blaze roster

Janne Laakkonen is one of the 2019/20 team to come back for Coventry Blaze for the Elite Series (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

Coventry Blaze have finished their recruitment process by adding experienced Finnish forward Janne Laakkonen to complete their team.

The 38-year-old will return to the club after playing there in the 2019/20 season, where he scored 11 goals and picked up 46 assists in 51 games in all competitions.

And Stewart couldn’t contain his delight at bringing him back after such a successful season that saw Blaze end the previous campaign in third place.

“I’m really, really excited to bring Janne back,” he said. “He is a special player and has a quality that not a lot of players have. He makes our powerplay better and whoever he plays with better.”

Danny Stewart has completed the roster with the announcement of Laakkonen’s return (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

Laakkonen had confirmed to return to Coventry for 2020/21, but due to the pandemic, had to explore other options as a result of the ongoing shutdown.

He moved to EHC Lustenau of the Alps Hockey League where he produced nine points (two goals, seven assists) in eight games.

He left the Austrian team in early December and headed to Norway to play four times with Narvik where he had a goal and an assist before the Norwegian season was cancelled.

Coventry begin their Elite Series campaign against Manchester Storm next Saturday at 2pm at the Motorpoint Arena.

Storm themselves made a roster change on Saturday when they announced Declan Balmer was unavailable to participate in the competition and swiftly moved to bring in Harry Gulliver from Raiders.

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