Stewart secures Courchaine coup
The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze have beaten off strong competition to land the signature of 33-year-old Canadian forward Adam Courchaine.
The Winnipeg native joins the club with a CV boasting hundreds of games in some of Europe's best leagues.
Most notably, the left-shooter who can play wing or centre, has appeared in more than 430 German DEL regular season and playoff games, registering almost a point-per-game over nine seasons (165 goals, 207 assists for 372 points).
Courchaine's experience in Germany began with Füchse Duisburg in 2007/08 following a stand-out year in Austria's second division where he hit 91 points in just 32 games.
In that debut DEL season, a team leading 28 goals and 50 points in 56 games, plus an appearance in the All-Star game earnt the offensive talent a contract with EG Metro Stars based in Düsseldorf. There he was to stay for four years, being awarded 'Most Valuable Player' in the 2008/09 playoffs after 12 goals, 4 assists in 16 post-season games. That same season, Courchaine also represented his country in the Deutschland Cup.
2012/13 began with a brief spell in the Austrian EBEL with Graz 99ers before a move back to Germany and Duisburg in the third division whilst he awaited an opportunity in a market populated with locked-out NHL stars.
24 points in just 9 games quickly caught the attention of the DEL’s Krefeld Pinguine where Courchaine would go on to spend a total of three seasons. During that time, in 2013/14 he led the league for assists (45) and points (74). The following year (2014/15), he also starred in the German sides Champions Hockey League campaign scoring 4 goals, 2 assists in the 6 games.
A short stop in Switzerland's NLB with EHC Olten was then followed in 2015/16 by another successful European season, this time in the Czech Extraliga as part of HK Hradec Kralove where he would score 17 goals, 13 assists for 30 points in 48 regular season games.
You can watch all 17 right here:
The past campaign for Courchaine was split between Hungary's Fehérvár AV1 who compete in the Austrian EBEL, and Düsseldorfer EG where he had spent much time previously in his early DEL career.
Junior and North America
Before forging his outstanding career in Europe, the skilled forward proved an offensive talent in the ECHL, particularly as part of the Pensacola Ice Pilots in 2005/06 where he hit 21 goals, 28 assists for 49 points. The same season also included 10 games in the AHL with Houston Aeros.
The Canadian also had a stellar time in major junior, being highly-rated by scouts and drafted by the NHL's Minnesota Wild, round 7, 219 overall in 2003.
His junior experience began with the Medicine Hat Tigers in 2001, before a trade to the Vancouver Giants (2001-05) where he would become a cornerstone for the franchise in its early years. His WHL record in total reads 141 goals, 162 assists for 303 points in 305 games, plus a first All-Start team nomination in 2003/04. His 273 points for the Giants puts him second overall in franchise history.
Courchaine will combine his playing duties with study whilst with the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze and we would like to say a huge thank you to the Coventry University Business School for helping us bring a player of Adam’s calibre to the club.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “Adam’s resume speaks for itself. We have landed a top end guy here and expect big things out of him. He's a proven scorer at every level, and that's what he is being brought in to do. We were patient all summer to land a guy like this and it's good to see that paid off. I think any team that has success needs a couple of elite guys, and he gives us that.
“I would personally like to thank the Coventry University Business School once again for their involvement in our club. That connection is instrumental in our recruiting process and this proves it!”