Hard-hitting Swedish defenceman Viktor Langseth has joined Cardiff Fire for the new National Ice Hockey League season.
Langseth. aged 22, is a tough blue liner who has signed in time for Fire’s opening NIHL fixture of the season against Basingstoke Buffalo at Ice Arena Wales on Sunday (6pm).
“Viktor is a fantastic asset,” said director of hockey Mark Cuddihy, who has also announced Premier Taxis as club title sponsor. “He stepped up and played 10 games for us in division one and really impressed.
“I was really pleased with his physical play and the way he handled himself on and off the ice. Viktor is a young player looking to develop his game.
“He hits incredible hard, knows how to take care of his end and is already a leader on and off the ice.
“The hard work he has put in over the summer means he joins us us in great shape.”
Langseth grew up playing for Gnesta IK, representing them in Swedish Under-18 Division and Under-20 Division One.
He signed for the Fire’s Division One team last season playing in 10 games and loves the physical side of ice hockey.
Former Cardiff Devils Elite League player Michael Hutchings is returning to Cardiff Fire for the 2018-19.
‘Hutchy’ took time out from hockey after paying in the Elite League for Devils to join the British Army where he served for 10 years. During his time away Hutchy played hockey for the British Army in the UK and in Canada, additionally helping out Fire’s NIHL One team while on leave.
He signed full-time for Fire last season, starting in Division Two side before stepping up to Division One and establishing himself as one of the top forwards on the team.
The speedy winger suffered a groin injury during the tail end of last season, while he is now fully recovered and looking sharp in practice.
Due to a work commitment ‘Hutchy’ will miss the first few weeks of Fire’s season, but will then return to the team full time.
Fire have also signed Morgan Evans on a two-way contract with Cardiff’s under-18 team
Evans recorded 37 points, including 24 goals, in 11 under-18 games, while he recorded eight assists in 18 games for Fire’s Division Two team and also stepped up four times to play for Fire in the second tier.
Three other young players have also joined the Fire Roster on two-way deals with Cardiff’s under-18s.
GB international forward Carter Lloyd and defenceman Andre Norris return to Fire, while 16-year-old goaltender Ben Scanlan is new to the club.
Former Devils defenceman Mark Smith has been appointed Fire’s head of player development for 2018-19 and Cuddihy says: “At the core of everything we do is development.
“Cardiff have had a great history of bringing players through the ranks and that is never going to change.
“We know Morgan, Carter and Andre well as all three played last season, while Ben will be our fourth registered goalie and practice with the senior team where possible.
“All four have a bright future in the game and we look forward to their progress this season.”
Fire open the new season with a home fixture against Basingstoke Buffalo on Sunday, having announced Premier Taxis as the club’s title sponsor.
“Having a prestigious company like Premier Cars on board for a fourth consecutive season as title sponsor is massive,” says Cuddihy. “I’ve Premier director Scott and his family for over 12 years and they have always been big supporters of hockey in Cardiff along with other sports.
“Premier have sponsored Cardiff City FC, the Devils and Fire. They are big sports fans and also like to support the community. “Sadly we lost Premier Taxis founder Tim this summer and we will be starting the opening game of the season, against Basingstoke on Sunday, with a minutes applause as a mark of respect for all he and Premier have done over the years for our club.”
Cardiff Fire club officials:
Director of hockey: Mark Cuddihy.
Head coach: Chris Douglas.
Director of player development: Mark Smith.
Cardiff Fire team:
Goalies: Chris Douglas, James Whiting, Lewis Davies, Ben Scanlan (2-way contract with Cardiff u-18).
Defencemen: Viktor Langseth, Andre Norris (2-way contract with Cardiff u-18), Ellis Sheppard, Phil Manny, Joe Morris, Tom Smith, Iwan Davies, Ross Wilkinson,
Forwards: Michael Hutchins, Morgan Evans (2-way contract with Cardiff u-18), Carter Lloyd (2-way contract with Cardiff u-18), Sam Bryant, Tamas Elias, Alan Armour, Elliott Murdoch, Lewis Stevens, Ricky Deacon, Jackson Price, Josh Haslam, Jordan Powell.
Cardiff Fire fixtures 2018-19 (all fixtures at Ice Arena Wales):
Sunday 23 v Basingstoke Buffalo (home, 6pm)
Sunday 7 v Slough Jets (home, 6pm)
Saturday 13 v Invicta (away, 5.15pm)
Sunday 14 v Bracknell Hornets (home, 6pm)
Saturday 20 Bristol Pitbulls (away, 5pm)
Saturday 27 v Slough Jets (away, 5.45pm)
Sunday 28 v Lee Valley Lions (home, 6pm)
Saturday 3 v Bracknell Hornets (away, 6pm)
Saturday 10 v Solent Devils (away, 5pm)
Saturday 17 v Basingstoke Buffalo (away, 6.15pm)
Sunday 18 v Swindon Wildcats (home, 6pm)
Saturday 1 v Romford Raiders (home, 6.30pm)
Saturday 5 v Lee Valley Lions (away, 5.30pm)
Sunday 6 v Chelmsford Chieftains (home, 6pm)
Saturday 12 v Swindon Wildcats (away, 6.15pm)
Saturday 19 v Peterborough Phantoms (away, 6.15pm)
Saturday 26 v Guildford (home, 6.30pm)
Sunday 27 v Oxford City Stars (home, 6pm)
Saturday 16 v Raiders (away, 5.15pm)
Sunday 17 v Bristol Pitbulls (home, 6pm)
Sunday 24 v Solent Devils (home, 6pm)
Saturday 2 v Peterborough Phantoms (home, 6.30pm)
Sunday 10 v Guildford (away, 5.30pm)
Sunday 17 v Haringey Huskies (away, 5.30pm)
Sunday 24 v Haringey Huskies (home, 6pm)
Sunday 31 v Invicta (home, 6pm)
Sunday 7 v Oxford City Stars (away, 6.15pm)
TBA: Chelmsford Chieftains (away)