Club news

Pietrus tips Zajac to be a big hit

Genting Casino Coventry Blaze Captain Jordan Pietrus has backed new signing Darcy Zajac to be a big hit in the Elite League.

“On a personal level, ‘Darc’ and I have been good friends since our teen years, said ‘Piety’. “To have the opportunity to be his teammate is something I'm really looking forward to.”

Both growing up in Winnipeg, Pietrus chose to play NCAA at Brown University, whilst Zajac picked the University of North Dakota.

In 2010, the two were both nominated for the prestigious Derek Hines award, established by the Hockey Commissioners’ Association in honour of the former Army player who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan in 2005. The award is said to recognise “a fearless leader and beloved fan favourite who always places his team first.”

Pietrus was to be the lucky winner saying emotionally at the time, “I am extremely honored to earn recognition in remembrance of Derek Hines. The character, sacrifice, and leadership he possessed are traits I admire and attempt to emulate in not only athletics, but also in my everyday life as well. I am deeply humbled to be chosen for this prestigious award by both the Hines Family and the entire selection committee. I would like to personally thank the Hines Family for the courage they have shown in continuing Derek’s legacy through this award. I would also like to thank Brown University, my teammates, and the Brown coaching staff for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of such a special group for the past four years.”

Darcy, happy for his friend was to be satisfied and proud with his honourable mention.

Aside from a year in the ECHL (2010/11), Pietrus (South Carolina Stingrays) and Zajac (Trenton Devils), the pair have rarely crossed paths through their professional hockey careers, until now.

The Captain, who made a huge impact in his debut Elite League season predicts likewise, that his friend will be a big success in Coventry.

“First and foremost, Darc is a competitor. He loves to win and will do whatever it takes to do that. He's always looking for ways to improve and get the edge on the competition. He's a big, strong guy and is not afraid to go to the net where the goals need to be scored. I know he's a great addition to our group that will fit in great, not only on the ice but in the room as well. I think the Blaze faithful will respect how Darc plays the game. His personality and bravado will also be important to our building a team that has expectations to achieve big goals.”

See Zajac and Pietrus hit the ice together for the first time against the Nottingham Panthers on Wednesday 24th August (7.30pm).