Fife Flyers have made a statement of intent after finally announcing their first signing of the summer.
Evan Bloodoff, one of the Elite League's top performers last year, will return for a second season with the Kirkcaldy side after playing a starring role in the club's first ever Gardiner Conference championship success.
The prolific scorer ended the season with 27 goals and 12 assists from 38 games, averaging a point a game, and was challenging to be one of the league's leading marksmen until a late season injury put him out of action.
The 27-year-old has undergone treatment and is currently involved in a rehabilitation programme with a full recovery expected in time for the feisty forward to hit the ice for the start of the club's landmark 80th season at the end of August.
“I’m really happy to have re-signed for the Flyers and can’t wait to get back to Kirkcaldy and get back on the ice in preparation for the new season,” Bloodoff said.
“I’m keen to pick up on the same form I had last season and continue to help the team compete for silverware.
"It’s a great honour to be part of the 80th anniversary team and I can’t wait to get back on the ice and play in front of the loyal Flyers fans.”
Securing the return of such a pivotal figure in last season's success is a positive first step to the summer recruitment process, and head coach Todd Dutiaume explained that retaining Bloodoff was among his top priorities.
“As coaches we knew Evan was capable of being a force in this league, and not only did he bring the drive and work ethic we were looking for, he was also on pace to score 40 goals before his injury," he said.
"Evan responded well to his post season treatment and it was a priority to us to secure him as a key piece in this season's line up.
“Bloods will be leading the charge from the front in our conference defence in the 80th season of the Fife Flyers.“
The news comes just 48 hours before the club's deadline for season ticket renewals, and is sure to provide some relief for fans who have faced a long wait for signing activity since the season ended in early April.