TRANSFERS - Blaze make double signing - The Coventry Observer

TRANSFERS - Blaze make double signing

COVENTRY Blaze have announced the double signing of Hungarian netminder Miklós Rajna and Canadian forward Tyler Kirkup for the remainder of the 2022/23 season.

Rajna will provide competition for Blaze’s current netminder Paavo Holsa and joins on loan following many successful years playing in his home country.

The 31-year-old is a three-time Hungarian goalie of the year and has been a regular at international level since 2010.

He most recently played for UTE in Hungary where he had a .911 save percentage in 26 league games this season and win the MOL League twice with Budapest Stara and Dunaújváros AC.

Rajna recorded the best save-percentage (.939) and goals-against-average (1.23) in the EBYSL in 2013/14 and has more than 50 appearances for the senior Hungary national team.

He was twice won a Division 1A silver medal and a bronze at the World Championship and only last season he led the Erste League with a sensational save-percentage of .946 and a goals-against-average of 1.77 in 34 regular season games.

Kirkup joins Blaze from the Reading Royals of the ECHL where he played 43 games this season with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists).

The 24-year-old turned professional with the Royals after graduating from the well-respected Bemidji State University (NCAA).

In 131 appearances for Bemidji, the two-way centre and equally adept winger contributed 48 points (21 goals, 27 assists) over a four-year period.

During his time at BSU, Kirkup earned conference All-Academic Team and Scholar-Athlete honours and was an Associate Captain.

Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “We wanted to add a goalie for this last stretch of the season to help protect Paavo as he has played a lot of hockey.

“When Miklós became an option we not only added protection, but quality as well. He’s had a great career on both the domestic and international levels.

“He is very excited to play here in the UK, and we want to thank his current club for giving us the ability to sign him.

“Adding depth at centre was crucial for us. We saw how tough it was to get cover last season when Mathew Thompson went down.

“Tyler offers quality depth as well. He has good size, moves well and is smart on both sides of the puck. He’s at a good age and will bring some added grit to our line-up as well.”

Both players arrived in the UK yesterday and will be in contention to play for Blaze this weekend in back-to-back games against Sheffield Steelers.

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