Edinburgh Capitals today made their first new signing ahead of this year’s Elite League ice-hockey season, bringing in Canadian forward Mike Cazzola on a two-year deal.
The 26-year-old spent last season with Fort Wayne Comets of America’s East Coast Hockey League, where, in his first year as a professional, he lead the team in scoring, averaging more than a point a game with an impressive 33 goals and 51 assists in all competitions.
Cazzola has been on the Caps’ radar for some time, and was a club target this time last year after icing for Acadia University in the Canadian college league, where he enjoyed four seasons.
Capitals’ co-owner Scott Neil was delighted to finally get his man, and said of the 5ft 6in centre: “We have a new relationship with Queen Margaret University, where Mike will be attending during his time with us, and this was definitely the catalyst in bringing him to Edinburgh.
“We’re adding a dynamic forward who has all the tools to thrive on the big ice at Murrayfield. Last season he came out of college, lead his team in scoring, and made the East Coast rookie All-Star team. He’s a fast skater and excels on the power-play. He’s been compared favourably to (former Dundee Stars forward) Vinny Scarsella and I’ve no doubt he will soon become a firm fans favourite at Murrayfield.”
Cazzola looks to be an impressive pick-up for the Murrayfield men, and his arrival will perk up Capitals fans following news that popular forward Taylor MacDougall has decided not to return to Edinburgh for the second year of his contract.
Neil admits that face-off specialist MacDougall, also a product of the Canadian college system, who scored 15 goals last term, will be missed. “Taylor did a good job for us while he was here, he was great in the locker-room and also did a lot of community work in the city. We’re going to miss him, but our job now is to find the right replacement.”
With MacDougall now not returning, Edinburgh, who recently lost out on former starting goalie Travis Fullerton to Dundee, have only five players on their books ahead of the new season which gets underway with the Elite League Scottish cup weekend, to be held at Murrayfield, on September 9 and 10.
Neil remains confident a full squad will be in place ahead of pre-season training in late August and added: “We have no concerns, we could put a team together in no time at all if we wanted to, but we will continue to bring the best players we can to the club. It’s going to be an exciting summer for all of us.”