Fife Flyers have added more young home-based players to their squad – underlining the complete turn around in personnel for the forthcoming campaign.
A year of transition was further confirmed with the addition of Jordan Buesa to the roster along with the return of last year’s rookie defenceman, Reece Cochrane and confirmation that Caly
Robertson – son of former Flyer, Iain – has joined the club following the collapse of Edinburgh Capitals.
With Chad Smith also returning for his second season, it means only Chris Wands survives from the ‘EIHL originals’ who led the club back into top flight hockey.
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With just days to go before the first pre-season game there has been no news on experienced defenceman Tommy Muir or third line forward Josh Scoon who formed part of the squad which made the transition from grassroots to Elite League in 2011.
Scoon saw his ice time dwindle last season, while Muir remained a blue line stalwart as the club captured the Gardiner Conference.
Their absences confirm the biggest shake-up of the EIHL-era.
Buesa is a GB under-18 player with two seasons of EIHL experience with rivals Braehead Clan, and Todd Dutiaume, head coach, hailed him as “a key signing.’’
He said: “Jordan comes to us after a very strong individual season with Clan.
“We were impressed with his work ethic and he skates well. He is strong, talented and driven to play in this league. This is a key signing for us up front and certainly increases our forward options.”
Robertson returns to his family’s home town club – dad Iain was a former Flyers’ team captain – after making his senior debut with Capitals last season.
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Dutiaume said: “He knows he has to continue to work hard on his off ice conditioning.
”As a young Fifer we are keen to aid him in his goal to become a full time player in the Elite League.”
For Cochrane, the goals are the same.
He jumped into the fray for the first time last season, learning his trade on the blue line, and the club wants to maintain his development.
“Reece has the opportunity of an excellent career in front of him,’’ added Dutiaume.
“This season we hope to help him push forward in his development. In meetings we have discussed the importance of a stable off-ice program along with helping him mature into the player he will become. This is a big year for Reece.”
They will be joined by the returning forward, Chad Smith, who spent summer in Australia icing with the Sydney Bears, plus highly experienced British skater, Bari McKenzie who has some 450 EIHL games under his belt.