Edinburgh Capitals have added vastly experienced tough Russian winger Igor Valeyev to their roster ahead of the new ice hockey season which begins next month.
Whilst not classed as an out-and-out enforcer, 36-year-old Valeyev is not afraid to drop the gloves to stick up for his team-mates, and has played extensively both in Russia and North America.
Valeyev was already playing state-side when he was picked in the seventh round of the 2001 NHL draft by St Louis Blues, going on to play just shy of 150 games in the American Hockey League and 50 in the East Coast Hockey League before returning to Russia, where he has played just shy of 400 professional games, including 37 games for Kontinental Hockey League cracks Traktor Chelyabinsk in season 2013-14.
Valeyev, joins the club from Russian second division side Chelmet Chelyabinsk, where last season he scored seven points in just 11 games.
The player, who becomes Edinburgh’s 12th new signing of a busy summer, was recommended to head-coach Dmitri Khristich by his former Washington Capitals team-mate Andrei Nikolishin.
Nikolishin, who also recommended recent signing Sergei Banashkov to the club, said of Valeyev: “Igor is an experienced forward who can stand up for himself and his team-mates. He’s only 6ft but has a solid build and likes to play physically. He also has good hands and can collect important points for the team. He shows the right attitude both on and off the ice and is a good role model for younger players.”
On joining Edinburgh, Valeyev who has also played in the Kazakh top-flight, said: “I’m looking forward to playing with the club. I’ve played in a number of countries and this feels like an exciting challenge which I’m glad I’ve had the chance to take. I’m a player who will battle for every puck and I hope to make a big impact in every game.”