When Fife Flyers signed Ian Young in the summer a glance at his statistics pointed to the acquisition of a reliable stay-at-home defenceman.
But his performances in pre-season would suggest Flyers have got that – and more – with the 25-year-old Canadian impressing at both ends of the ice.
Young is Flyers’ top scorer so far in pre-season, having netted three times in the opening four exhibition games, while also putting in solid shifts in the D-zone.
Two goals on Saturday – a booming slapshot on the powerplay and a skilful solo effort – helped Fife secure a 3-1 win over Danish side Herlev Eagles, and earned Young the man of the match award from the fans.
“I try to pride myself on being a reliable defenceman, but I definitely like to jump up and be offensive when I can,” Young said.
“Every squirrel finds a nut here or there and it’s been good to get some goals in pre-season.
“There’s a lot of good players on the team, and I’m getting a lot of good feeds, so it’s a good combination of playing with other good players, and maybe a little bit of luck.
“I like to take shots from the point. It’s easier when we’ve got big guys like Gauthier and Mosey in front of the net screening the goalie. If the lane is there I like to take the shot.
“Everyone likes to be on the powerplay so, if that works for me, and it continues to work, that would be something I’d like to do.”
Young’s move to Scotland is his first venture outside North America and he is feeling good about life in Kirkcaldy, and with the team.
“I’ve never been overseas before so it’s a little bit of an eye-opener, but it’s a beautful town and everyone here is super-friendly,” he said.
“It’s a bit of an adjustment with the accent sometimes, but luckily it’s still English, and I love it so far.
“I think the team is coming together really good considering we haven’t really skated together for very long.
“I know off the ice so far it’s a really good group of guys, everyone gets along really well, and I’ve had a great time with everyone so far.
“I think it translates onto the ice, there’s some chemistry out there and there are hard-working guys who know what they’re doing. I feel pretty confident with the guys we have.”
When Flyers first made the approach in the summer Young was able to call upon a friend, ex-Flyers netminder Colin Grubb, now living in Houston, for an insight into the club.
“I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do hockey-wise,” he said. “I had some interest in coming over to Europe to play somewhere. It was just something I wanted to do, and when Fife called it just seemed like a really good opportunity.
“I know Colin, who played here a long time ago, so as soon as Hutch reached out to me I talked to him, and he had really good things to say.
“I talked to Shane Owen too and he also had really great things to say about the coaching staff and the town, so as soon as they offered me it was a pretty easy decision.”
After missing out on play-offs with Elmira in each of the last two seasons, Young admitted he is desperate to taste some success in Fife.
“I just want to win and bring home a bit of silverware,” he said. “For the last couple of season my team hasn’t made play-offs, so I’ve got a little fire in there to win and have some team success.
“Play-off hockey is always more fun and more intense, and life is just better when you’re winning hockey games.”