Watkins expects Clarkson to make big impact on EPL

Telford Tigers have completed the signing of Canadian forward Doug Clarkson.

The 27-year-old has spent the last two seasons in the Elite League with Cardiff Devils and Dundee Stars, scoring 39 goals with 46 assists in 124 games.

Head Coach Tom Watkins expects his latest capture to make a big impression in the EPL next season.

He said: “Doug has played at a good level in some very good leagues, but what attracted me the most was his performances in the UK, and his Canadian college stats.

“For a big guy, it is easy to assume he’ll use his physical presence to protect his team-mates. Doug will do that, of course, but his two 20-goal seasons in the Elite League will transfer well to the EPL.

“He’s got a unique skillset for this league, so he will be very hard for other teams to play against and physically handle.

“We play in a small rink and he uses a big stick, so Doug will be extremely hard to beat. As a defenseman, if I saw him barrelling down on me, I would be very nervous.

“When you sign an import, you’ve got to know that he’ll fit in easily and for a North American guy like Doug, he will do that with no issues at all.

“With us losing Max (Birbraer), replacing that size was important, so having him around the dressing room and his on-ice presence will be huge for us. I am sure he will become a fans’ favourite.

“That size and toughness is not the first thing that attracted me to Doug, but it’s obviously an attribute he does have. It’s something that we as a club probably haven’t had for some time.

“It allows other guys to play bigger than they really are and he’s going to add a different dimension to what’s around the league. I’ve got a good expectation of him being a 30-goal guy for us.”

(Image permission: Derek Black)

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