17th Jul, 2019

Defensive unit "complete" says Stewart after Pohlkamp and Schiestel signings

Ben Tyler 25th Jun, 2019

HEAD coach Danny Stewart says his defensive unit is complete, after the signings of defencemen Chris Pohlkamp and Drew Schiestel.

The club do, however, confirm that Kevin Noble, Chris Joyaux, Ivan Puzic and Nicolai Bryhnisveen are to depart the club, after forming the club’s defensive line-up in the 2018/19 season.

Pohlkamp became the latest signing for Coventry Blaze on Tuesday afternoon, arriving from NCAA side Bowling Green State University, after 141 games in the division and chipping in with 36 points for his former side.

The 23-year old American was a vital cog in the team, regularly displaying defensive solidity with his ability to get in front of shots.

Stewart complemented the defensive attributes of Pohlkamp and believes his latest signing will bed in well.

“Chris is the final addition to our defensive unit and will complement our current group very well,” he said.

“He’s a very good all-around defender who plays a defence first type of game.

“We’ve had great reviews on him and he’s another young guy that comes from a great programme at Bowling Green.”

The American admitted that it was always his ambition to join and is excited by the direction that the club is heading in.

“I chose to come over to the UK and play for Coventry because the Blaze does things right,” said Pohlkamp.

“From what coach Danny Stewart described in regards the team’s style of play and support of the community, it was a no brainer that this was the place for me.

“The fans can expect a player that competes hard every night.

“I’m a smaller defenceman, but I like to play physical.

“For my style of play, Coventry sounds like the perfect place.”

Schiestel, meanwhile, arrives from Elite Ice Hockey League play-off champions Cardiff Devils, with six goals and 16 assists to his name last campaign.

Prior to moving to the Welsh capital, the 30-year old Canadian gained a real grounding in the European leagues, playing in the German, Danish, Bulgarian and Norwegian top flights and recording a half-a-point per game ratio during his four years playing in mainland Europe.

The Blaze head coach says Schiestel will benefit the younger members of his squad enormously.

“Drew adds massively to our back-end in all areas,” said Stewart.

“He’s got good size, skates very well, moves the puck well and can play all situations.

“He’s coming off a playoff trophy with Cardiff and will bring some experience to a young roster.”

Schiestel displayed his gratitude to be given the opportunity to move, and said: “I’m extremely grateful to have the chance to come to a club that has a long history of success, in a league that is only getting deeper and more competitive every year.”

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