Blaze sign Liam Stewart
As exclusively revealed on Free Radio this morning, Genting Casino Coventry Blaze are delighted to announce the signing of forward Liam Stewart for the 2016/17 Elite League season.
Born in London (UK), Stewart moved to Southern California at the age of three, growing up in Manhattan Beach where after attending a New York Rangers game he fell in love with hockey and started playing as part of the L.A. Junior Kings youth programme.
Shortly after, Stewart was spotted by talent scouts and offered a place in the Western Hockey League (WHL), a top-tier junior hockey league with the Spokane Chiefs where he stayed for four season’s scoring 57 goals and adding 75 assists in 251 games. In his first season with the Chiefs, Stewart was named rookie of the year and went on to be an assistant captain of the club for two years, picking up the player of the year award in his final season.
On completion of his WHL career, Stewart who stands at 6’1” iced for two East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) playoff games for the Quad City Mallards, scoring once.
This past season the 21-year-old iced 13 games for the Alaska Aces of the ECHL before injury cut short his first full professional season.
Now fully recovered, Stewart joins Blaze for his first taste of the Elite League where despite being born in the UK, he will count against the club’s import contingent due to his overseas junior development.
It won’t be the first time Stewart has iced in the UK though having been part of Great Britain under-20’s World Championship Division I Group B tournament held in Dumfries, Scotland where as assistant captain he posted two goals and two assists over five games.
"Liam is a very important signing for us. He adds to our depth which will be crucial next season. With many teams looking to play four-lines or close to next season, it’s important we have capable guys that can take minutes away from our top-six forwards and produce themselves. He has the ability to play wing and centre, he is a very capable penalty killer, very good on face-off's and very reliable at both ends of the ice. His season was cut short last year in Alaska due to injury but he is healthy now and excited for this next challenge!" - Blaze Head Coach Danny Stewart
"I have been considering coming over to the Elite League for some time now, I just wasn't sure of which team it was going to be! I’ve watched highlights of the league and have some buddies who play there so knew it could be a league that I wanted to play in. Seeing as I know a couple guys like Ross Venus, Matt Selby and David Clements from playing with them on Team GB I knew Coventry would be a good fit." - Liam Stewart
"I was in Alaksa for a couple of months last season before I got injured. The injury is fully recovered now and I am itching to get back on the ice to start the season. One of the biggest things when I decided to sign in the Elite League was being able to come home and play good competitive hockey and also be close to family. I'm excited to get to work and get things rolling this season with the Blaze!" - Liam Stewart concluded.
- Sponsor an item of Liam Stewart's kit for the 2016/17 season by calling the Blaze office now on 02477 719919. See what is available, here.
Listen to Liam Stewart talk to Seth Bennett: