Capitals sign Russian centre Alexander Islamov

Alexander Islamov. Picture courtesy of Edinburgh Capitals
Alexander Islamov. Picture courtesy of Edinburgh Capitals
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Edinburgh Capitals have bolstered their forward line with the signing of experienced Russian centre Alexander Islamov.

The 30-year-old has been signed to a one-year deal from Russian second division side Yermak Angarsk. However, earlier in his career Islamov played more than 150 games for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), arguably the second best ice hockey league in the world.

Capitals co-owner Scott Neil, said of 6ft 3in Islamov: “He’s someone that we believe will be a good fit for us, we don’t need him to be one of our out-and-out scorers, but from what I’ve seen he has some decent skills, and can contribute offensively, but he also has the size and strength to make things difficult for the opposition.

“Over a five year period he played more than 150 KHL games, for a very disciplined coach, I don’t think there are too many guys playing in this country who could have managed that, we expect Alexander to be a strong two-way player for us.”

Islamov becomes the 15th player, including Canadian blue-liner Michael D’Orazio, who has been confirmed as returning to Murrayfield, signed for the new Elite League season, with the club expecting to make further player announcements in the coming days.

If everything comes together as planned this could mean the Murrayfield men could be left with only three key positions, including a top-end defenceman, to fill, and new Capitals coach Dmitri Khristich is on course to put together a squad, that in terms of top-level experience, arguably trumps anything the small-budget club have managed in the past.

Neil continued: “Where these guys have all played previously, the quality of their resumes, it’s one of the most obvious things we have to go as we work hard to put a team out on the ice that is an improvement for the club.”