BLAZE coach Marc LeFebvre has described new goaltender Brian Stewart as a monster of a man after the Canadian made the move to the Skydome for the 2014/15 season.
The 29-year-old played in Germany last season with EV Landshut in the DEL2, posting a 2.73 goals against average from 49 regular-season games.
Prior to that, Stewart, at 6ft 5in and 201lbs, spent three years splitting his time in the ECHL and the
American Hockey League, where he has made 13 appearances.
After four years with Northern Michigan University in the NCAA, Stewart received a call-up by Adirondack Phantoms – the AHL affiliate of Philadelphia Flyers – at the end of the 2009/10 season.
The following year Stewart posted one of the best seasons for a goaltender in the history of ECHL side Bakersfield Condors when he compiled a 2.20 goals against average and 92.9 saves percentage as well as a club-record 10 straight wins.
That form led Stewart to being named in the ECHL All-Rookie Team and participating in the All-Star
Stewart played for Elmira Jackals in 2011/12 – leading them to the regular-season Eastern Conference title – before returning to Bakersfield the following campaign and also receiving AHL call-ups from Binghamton Senators and Houston Aeros.
Coach LeFebvre said: “I am extremely excited to have a goalie of Brian’s calibre in a Blaze jersey. I looked at several different goalies over the last couple of months and felt Brian was the one who could lead us to success this season.
“He is an absolute monster of a man, especially for a goalie, and certainly covers a lot of the net. He is highly athletic and strives to be the best every time he is in the net.
“Brian has a winning attitude and will certainly bring that with him to our dressing room. He is extremely competitive both in games and in training. He is a true professional in how he conducts himself.
“The goaltending position is so important to winning any championship. Brian certainly gives a chance to do that.”
Stewart joins Mike Egener, Cale Tanaka, Ashley Tait, Russell Cowley, Ross Venus, James Griffin, Steven Chalmers, Mark Smith, Steven Goertzen, Connor Ranby, Ryan O’Marra, Kyle Bochek and Jereme Tendler on the roster for next season.