Fife Flyers: Extra additions to Kirkcaldy squad for 2022-23 Elite Ice Hockey League season

Another four players have joined Fife Flyers as the squad rebuilds for the 2022-23 Elite Ice Hockey League season.

By Ralph Mellon
Monday, 25th July 2022, 9:22 am
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 4:43 pm
Zack Phillips (picture by Soos Attila Etele)
Zack Phillips (picture by Soos Attila Etele)

There is a fairly even split between offense and defense with the new arrivals – some of whom may already be familiar to fans at the Rosslyn Street rink.

American defenceman Christian Hausinger makes his first trip overseas to join the Flyers, having spent his first senior season in the ECHL.

The 25-year-old right-hander learned his trade in the NCAA with the University of Wisconsin before signing for SPHL side the Pensacola Ice Flyers last season.

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Reece Harsch (picture by Brian Liesse)

He was then loaned out to three ECHL sides across the season, icing for Wichita Thunder, Florida Everblades and Norfolk Admirals. He appeared 58 times, scoring 29 points from the blue line.

Hausinger said: “I am a puck moving and handling defenseman who sees the ice really well. I use my size and stick as an advantage in the corners.

“I am looking to achieve team success and a successful first season overseas.”

Flyers’ associate coach Jeff Hutchins said: “Christian is a smooth-skating defenseman. He is coming off a strong finish in the ECHL. We are looking for him to add offense from the back while being defensively responsible.

Chris Lawrence (picture by Jillian McFarlane)

“He is motivated and that is something we put a premium on in our recruitment process this year.”

Flyers have also recruited 29-year-old Zack Phillips as he returns to the Elite Ice Hockey League for this coming season.

Fans will remember him after his spell in the UK with the Nottingham Panthers in season 2017-18 – in that year. he scored 15 goals and notched up 31 assists.

Phillips has a vast array of experience, having been a first draft pick for the Minnesota Wild in 2011.

Christian Hausinger (picture by Elite Prospects)

He then iced in the AHL with Houtson Aeros before moving to the Iowa Wild and then the Providence Bruins.

During his AHL caree,r Phillips played 260 times and scored 100 points.

After a brief spell in the ECHL, he then made the trip to Europe in 2016 to join Tingsryds AIF in the second tier of Swedish hockey. He has also spent time in Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Germany.

Phillips said of his EIHL return: “As far as signing, I had some offers from different places around Europe but I really wanted to get back to the UK and I am really happy that things worked out with Fife.

“I have talked to old teammates of mine who played in Fife and it came highly recommended, so I’m excited to get there and see for myself.

“My goals for the year are to try to create offense like I have been able to for most of my career to help the team win as many games as possible.”

Jeff Hutchins added: “Zack is an experienced player who has played at the highest level. He has produced offense throughout his career and we expect him to come here and do the same.

“He knows the league and what it takes to be successful and we are happy he is joining us for the coming season.”

Confirmed too at Kirkcaldy is the signing of 23-year-old D-man Reece Harsch, whose switch to the EIHL will be his first season in Europe, having gained valuable experience over North America.

The 6”4’ right-sided defenceman started off his college career in 2020 with the University of Manitoba before he made his senior debut a year later with AHL side Abbotsford Canucks, where he made

five appearances. He then later joined Toledo Walleye in the ECHL.

Harsch, also tipped as an NHL Draft Young Prospect in 2016, said: “I am very excited to be joining the Fife Flyers for the 22-23 campaign.

"I have heard great things about the organisation and the town of Kirkcaldy.

“Fife is a great place to come too, as I continue to develop my game at this level.

"I am looking forward to making the trip over, playing in front of the great fans in Kirkcaldy and doing what I can to help the team have a successful season.”

Fife Flyers’ head coach and general manager Todd Dutiaume said: “During recruitment, this felt like a great fit for both sides.

“It was important that our back-end is versatile and can log healthy minutes for us.

"Reece not only provides that, he also brings a size and range that we have been lacking for some time.”

The club also welcomes back physical forward Chris Lawrence to the Auld Barn.

Lawrence made an instant impact when he joined the club halfway through last season but it was curtailed when he suffered a freak accident on the ice which broke his ankle.

The 35-year-old Canadian has a wealth of experience, having iced 181 times in the AHL between 2007 and 2010, before making the switch to the UK in 2014 when he joined the Nottingham Panthers.

He has also iced for the Sheffield Steelers, Coventry Blaze and captained the Dundee Stars.

Dutiaume said: “When Chris arrived in January, there was a shift in the team, both on and off the ice.

"On ice, he became crucial in draws and the team played more confidently with his physicality and leadership.

“Off ice, his passion for the game, dedication and physical fitness instantly motivated guys.

“Chris will once again be a pivotal member of the team, providing leadership and experience from the beginning.”