Edinburgh Capitals announced today the signing of skilful winger Marek Tvrdon.
The 24-year-old Slovakian has spent the past seven seasons playing in North America, averaging more than a point a game in an impressive junior career, before playing in excess of 150 professional games, predominantly in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).
Tvrdon, a fourth round NHL draft pick for the Detroit Redwings in 2011, played a full season in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins, scoring 12 goals and 23 assists, and had a brief stint two years ago with Kontinental Hockey League side Slovan Bratislava.
Last year, 6ft 3in Tvrdon, who despite his size is not renowned as an overly physical player, and can play on either wing, split the season between Indy Fuel of the ECHL, and his home town club in Slovakia, HK Nitra, who play in the country’s top flight.
Capitals co-owner Scott Neil said: “We’ve picked up a pretty high calibre player, he managed a point a game in the East Coast Hockey League, and did pretty well in his one full season in the American Hockey League, he looks a good addition.”
Tvrdon completes Edinburgh’s forward lines for the new ice hockey season which gets underway with the innaugural Elite League Scottish Cup, to be played at Murrayfield next weekend, and should feature in Edinburgh’s final pre-season friendly at Dundee Stars on Wednesday.
As Edinburgh look to make their first play-off appearance in five years, a tougher task than ever before with the addition of Guildford Flames and Milton Keynes Lightning expanding the league to 12 teams, Neil is confident, drawing on his short benched side’s last-second 2-1 defeat by University of Manitoba Bisons earlier this week.
“The proof is in the pudding,” he said. “But I liked what I saw in our first outing, we were unlucky to lose a goal in the last seconds, especially as we had a chance to win it just before that.
“I thought our fans responded well to the performance, it was scrappy, which is to be expected at this stage, but the work ethic was there and everybody battled hard. If we play like that every week we won’t be far away.”