Stewart secures Wiikman
Following news that Canadian netminder Kevin Nastiuk will no longer be returning to the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze, Head Coach Danny Stewart has moved quickly to secure the services of 33-year-old import Miika Wiikman for the 2018/19 Elite League season.
The Swedish-born, Finnish dual citizen spent last season with local rivals Milton Keynes Lightning, icing 42 times in a goaltending tandem with new Coventry back-up Jordan Hedley.
Before that, Wiikman helped the Nottingham Panthers to a Challenge Cup and playoff double in 2015/16, beating Blaze in that final, and in 2017, with another Coventry newcomer, Alex Nikiforuk, he lifted the IIHF Continental Cup, being named goaltender of the tournament.
Prior to moving to the Elite League in 2015, Wiikman gained significant experience in the Finnish SM-liiga, winning the Championship, as well as being named playoff MVP with HPK in 2005/06.
Aside from Finland, his impressive CV boats time in Slovakia and the American Hockey League with Hartford Wolf Pack and San Antonio Rampage. After signing an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers in 2008, he also appeared in a number of NHL exhibition games.
In addition to Wiikman’s club success, he has proudly represented the Finnish national team and the Swedish national junior team.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, "In light of Kevin informing us that he would be unable to return, we moved quickly to find a suitable replacement. Miika is a tremendous goaltender and we feel very fortunate to have come to an agreement with him for next season, especially at this late stage in the summer. He brings us a wealth of experience, knowledge of the league, and in my opinion, is a top calibre goalie at this level. He has won trophies during his time in the Elite League and is a proven winner."