Edinburgh Capitals have signed Great Britain Under-20 forward Duncan Speirs, from National Ice Hockey League champions Solway Sharks.
Speirs, 19, becomes the third highly-rated Scottish prospect to join the Murrayfield men, following the arrival of Aaron and Caly Robertson earlier this month.
Through the Capitals’ academy programme he will train full-time with the Elite League squad, a level of hockey familiar to Speirs after making his debut with Braehead Clan as an 18-year-old and scoring one goal in two starts.
Speirs has represented GB Under-20s for the past two years, and Caps’ co-owner Scott Neil, who has first-hand knowledge of the Irvine-born player through coaching him as part of the Scotland U-19 set-up, believes the time is right for Speirs to focus on Elite League hockey after averaging more than a point a game in the NIHL last season.
Neil said: “Duncan is joining our academy, but he will be focusing on the Elite League squad. He’ll be coming up to stay in Edinburgh to take advantage of the training we can provide. “This is the time in his career where he had to make the choice of giving it a shot of playing at a higher level. He’s a kid with a lot of talent. I had him with the Scottish U-19 team, and he’s added some size and strength since then which is something needed at Elite League level.”
Speirs said: “I’m looking forward to joining the Caps this year and working with the coaching staff to develop my skills.
“I started at Kilmarnock where I played until U-16 level, then joined the Solway Sharks, and I appreciate all (Sharks head-coach) Martin Grubb has done for my development.
“I now want to take the next step and target Elite League hockey.”