COVENTRY BLAZE head coach Danny Stewart expects new recruit Garrett Klotz to be one of the toughest players in the Elite League.
Hailing from Regina, Canada, Klotz will arrive in Coventry on the back of 370 professional games and near 100 fighting majors – something coach Stewart was keen to introduce to the Blaze roster.
The 27-year-old has previously dropped the gloves with some of the sport’s most established heavyweights including Jon Mirasty, Brett Gallant and Sheffield’s Zack Fitzgerald.
Klotz was drafted out of the Western Hockey League where he was a member of the Saskatoon Blades in the third round of the 2007 National Hockey League draft – 66th overall – by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Klotz will have some sense of immediate comfort when skating on the Skydome ice after previously icing with Blaze goaltender Brian Stewart in the American Hockey League.
Last year, the Canadian spent time with the Elmira Jackals – the first ECHL team of his career – where he totalled 17 points in 116 games – including a remarkable 304 penalty minutes.
Prior to last season, Klotz also notched 38 points and 386 penalty minutes and 104 Central Hockey League games with firstly the Bloomington Prairie Thunder and then the Allen Americans in 2013/14.
Head coach Stewart said: “Klotz will provide us with presence and further depth in the line-up, he will complete out fourth line.
“He’s a tough character and hard working guy – I felt it was important to add this element of toughness to our squad to prevent any teams coming into our barn and taking liberties on our guys.
“There were times last year in Coventry where some of our better players had to get involved with some tough boys and that shouldn’t happen.
“Saying that, we wanted a guy that would buy into what we wanted do and not be a distraction – Garrett is that guy.
“He knows the role and he doesn’t make it about him – he’s a team first guy and we will also expect him to play as well.”