Fife Flyers have secured the signature of American forward Andy Contois.
The 31-year-old left winger is an experienced European campaigner having played in Sweden, Finland, Germany and, most recently, Denmark, where he has spent the past two seasons at Rodovre as an assistant captain.
Contois graduated from North Michigan University in 2006 and started his pro career in East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) scoring 52 goals and 74 assists in 177 appearances across five different clubs.
Whilst icing with Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs of the Central Hockey League (CHL) during season 2010-11, Contois was part of the team who won the Ray Miron President’s Cup, beating Colorado Eagles in game seven.
Aside from a brief spell at American Hockey League (AHL) side Norfolk Admirals, where he made just one appearance, the rest of Contois career has been played in Europe, mostly in the highly-regarded Scandinavian leagues.
Over the past two years at Rodovre, Contois has made 97 appearances scoring 37 goals, 58 assists and amassing 81 penalty minutes.
Flyers player-coach Todd Dutiaume is confident the club has captured a top player after getting glowing reports from former Flyers captain Dan Ceman, who is currently coaching in Denmark.
“We talked to Dan and he described Andy as a big strong forward,” Dutiaume told the Press.
“He’ll go up and down, he’ll go to the net for us, and he’s not afraid to use his size. We’re confident he’ll be a good player for us.”
Associate coach Danny Stewart also identified Contois as a key signing.
“He has put up great numbers at every level he has played, and he gives us yet another guy with great speed and good size to come with it,” Stewart said.
“Andy was third top scorer in Denmark two seasons ago which is arguably a bit higher standard than the UK.
“He can play both centre and wing and although he will start on the wing for us, that versatility is key in the UK.
“He will be looked upon to produce for us offensively and be a threat night in night out.”
Contois spoke of his excitement ahead of joining Fife.
“When I was given the chance to play for such a great organisation with a wealth of tradition it was something I was really excited about, as well as the opportunity to play in front of some great fans, which I have heard a lot about,” he said.
Flyers also re-signed home-grown defenceman Chris Wands this week, who returns for his third EIHL campaign after having last season cut short when he required surgery on a sports hernia.