Fife Flyers have returned to Quad City Mallards for the third time inside 12 months to find a new import.
Kyle Follmer was added to the Kirkcaldy club’s roster this week, and will make his UK debut at the start of the 2016-17 season.
The defenceman follows in the footsteps of Mallards’ duo Justin Fox and Jeff Lee who made the switch from Illinois to Fife this time last year.
Fox has already confirmed his return although Lee, who endured an injury hit season, is unlikely to follow suit – indeed the club referred to him as a “former import’’ when they posted his wedding picture recently.
Follmer is a versatile player – he can also skate on the wing – but his primary role will be in defence where he is expected to bring toughness and strength to the blue line.
A graduate of North Michigan University, he played four seasons at uni, amassing 194 PIMs and 67 points from 152 games. Back then he wore jersey number 39.
Prior to that he was in the USHL with Sioux City Muskateers and Lincoln Stars, icing in 169 games logging 106 points and 370 PIMs between 2005 and 2008.
Follmer’s pro career was put on hold for a season in 2013-14 while he recovered from hip surgery.
He originally signed for Indy Fuel, the affiliate team to the Chicago Blackhawks, but didn’t ice.
He then went on to play with Allen Americans where he won the ECHL championship, underlining his determination to show he could play at the top level.
Follmer remained with the Americans until the end of the 2014-2015 season when he signed for Quad City, a club which has become a hunting ground for Flyers over the past year or so.
He’s the third new face to be unveiled after fellow blue liner David Turon, and forward Matt Sisca - and more are expected to follow with the new season just weeks away.
Todd Dutiaume, head coach, is confident Follmer fits the bill.
“We are going with five imports this year so I was looking to find a versatile D-man.
‘‘A guy who was conformable and capable of playing up front when required and Kyle fits that bill.
“He comes to us primarily as a D-man but will be used up front as well.
“‘It’s important to have a player or two who are versatile and can play in all situations.’’ he said.
‘’Having players who can adapt their style of play and change positions will make us stronger.
‘‘I like to know that I have guys who can move around the line up to help us out, if and when required.”
Flyers have still to unveil their GB roster, netminders and have a number of signings yet to be unveiled.