4th Dec, 2016

Coventry Blaze trio Drew Fisher, Russell Cowley and Ross Venus re-sign for 2016/17 season

Steve Carpenter 20th Apr, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

AMERICAN forward Drew Fisher is itching to get back on the ice at the Skydome after re-joining Coventry Blaze for the 2016/17 Elite League season.

The 28-year-old native of International Falls, Minnesota, joined Blaze last summer on the back of a career year with the Tulsa Oilers in 2014/15 where he posted 77 points (18 goals and 59 assists) in 68 appearances.

In his first Elite League season, Fisher hit 14 goals, 27 assists for 41 points in 60 games including the game-winning goal against Sheffield Steelers which put Chuck Weber’s side through to the Play-off Finals weekends in Nottingham.

The skilled winger also proved to be a valuable asset in the penalty-shootout competition where he netted four of his six attempts, three of which proved to be game-winning goals.

Prior to his move to Coventry, Fisher won the USHL Clark Cup with Sioux Falls Stampede in 2006/07 and was named in the NCAA (WCHA) All-Academic team twice whilst graduating from Bemidji State University.

In 2011/12 he turned pro with the Tulsa Oilers where he played over 200 games before his first venture to Europe with the Blaze.

“Me and my family loved our season here and can’t wait to get back to Coventry,” said Fisher.

“When we were given the opportunity to return we knew straight away it was right for us. I can’t wait to get back on the ice again in a Blaze shirt and to play for the best fans in the league.”

Another player will be re-joining him next season is British forward Russell Cowley who has signed a one-year contract with the club.

The 2016/17 season will be Cowley’s 15th in Coventry during which he has won a British National League double, the Elite League three times in addition to the Play-offs twice, the Challenge Cup and the Knock-Out Cup – including the Grand Slam in 2004/05.

Except for a single season in Cardiff during 2006/07, the 32-year old has been an ever present at the Skydome Arena since joining Blaze in 2001/02, meaning no player has played more games for the club than the Edmonton born man.

Blaze director of hockey James Pease added: “Russ is something of legend in Coventry and rightly so.

“He has played so many games for this club and won many trophies. His commitment has been something to behold and we are over the moon that he has committed to another season with us.”

Venus has also committed is future the Blaze having put pen-to-paper on a new two-year deal with the club

At just 21-years-old, Venus has already played over 350 Elite League games for Blaze after coming through the club’s academy system and famously scored the game-winning-goal as Blaze won the Elite League Playoff Championship in 2015.

Blaze director of hockey operations, James Pease added: “We took him on as a project out of the Blaze academy all those years ago and I believe the work he and the club have put into his development is now coming to fruition.

“People forget that Ross is still only 21-years-old. His understanding of the game and play away from the puck is far ahead of his age and we are thrilled with how he has developed and committed himself to being one of the best penalty killers in the Elite League.”