Stewart adds Croatia International to blue-line
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze Head Coach Danny Stewart has bolstered his blue-line with the signing of 22-year-old Croatian International defenceman Ivan Puzic.
The 5'10" native of Zagreb joins the Blaze from Austria's top-tier, the EBEL where he has played 24 games for Medvescak Zagreb who have recently been allowing players to leave due to severe financial difficulties.
Puzic also iced 16 times for Zagreb last season, on loan from HC Vitkovice of the Czech Extraliga where after progressing through their youth system, he played 10 times over a spell of two years.
In addition to the loan spell at Zagreb, the left-shooter has also spent time with AZ Havirov and HC Sumperk of the Czech second division, and had a spell in the third-tier with HC Poruba.
Having represented his country at under-20's level, Puzic has progressed on to appear at the Senior International level, thus far making 10 appearances at the World Championships Division 1B.
His experience with HC Vitkovice and Zagreb also extends to 8 games in the Champions Hockey League, and most recently 3 games in the Continental Cup played at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
Puzic will fly into the UK next week ahead of a busy festive period, beginning with home games against Milton Keynes Lightning (Sunday 23rd December) and Cardiff Devils (Wednesday 26th December).
Stewart said, "Ivan comes to us from a very good level. He is a reliable and steady defenceman that will improve our back-end. He’s come up through a strong junior system in the Czech Republic and plays the right way. He will eat some minutes for us on the penalty-kill and compliment our current group very well. He’s still at a young age and is only going to get better. We're looking forward to his arrival next week."
Puzic commented, "After problems in Zagreb, I wanted a positive change and the management from Coventry quickly contacted me and managed to arrange everything in a short time. I will do my best to help the club ensure a playoff spot and do well in the competition. I am very excited for this opportunity and I hope that fans will be happy."