Fife Flyers latest signing believes he has what it takes to make the step up to the Elite League.
Carlo Finucci spent last season with Swindon Wildcats in the English Premier League –the second tier of professional ice hockey in the UK – where teams are permitted to ice just five imports.
And despite being released by Wildcats at the end of the last season, the 29-year-old Canadian is confident he has the tools required to be a success in the UK’s top league.
“I was able to watch a few EIHL games while I was in Swindon and I felt I could’ve played in that league last year,” Finucci explained.
“I got up to Coventry and watched a couple of games and the level of play was obviously a lot different with 13 imports, but I feel I’m ready to match that level and prove people wrong.”
Finucci will fill one of three EU passport holder positions in the Flyers line-up due to holding Italian dual nationality through his father.
The left winger has harboured ambitions of playing in Italy but found himself in the UK last season after spells in the ECHL and Denmark, where he played alongside Phillipe Paquet at Rungsted.
“We had a good squad there, a good group of guys, and it was a good way to get my feet wet in Europe,” Finucci said.
“I’ve spoken to Phil and bounced a lot of questions off him about coming to Fife. He’s already been through it all and re-signed so if he did that, it means he really enjoyed his time there.
“It makes things a little bit easier coming in. I’ll still be coming in a bit blind, but at least I’ve got an idea of what to expect, and that’s been a great help so far.”
Finucci revealed that he played an active role in promoting himself to clubs across the UK over the summer in the hope of winning a deal.
“The summer I took it into my own hands with contacting clubs,” he said.
“I really wanted to stay in the UK – I enjoyed my time in England last year.
“It was a great place for me to be and I wanted to get myself into a top league again.
“I just got my name out there and Todd emailed me back.
“I figured it was a great fit for me the way Todd wants to build the team
“He told me how he wants to build a quick, fast-skating team and I feel I really fit that role.
“I’m not the biggest guy so I can skate well and move my feet.
“I’ve heard about the fans and the city and how great that all is from past players.
“I’ve heard nothing about amazing things about the Flyers fans and playing in that rink, so I’m excited for that.”