Drew Schiestel, an Elite League play-offs winner with Cardiff Devils last season, will be combining ice hockey action with university studies in 2019-20.
The two-way defenceman will not be back with Devils’, having signed for Elite rivals Coventry Blaze and will also attend Coventry University Business School.
“I’m extremely grateful to have the chance to come to a club that has a long history of success,” says Schiestel, whose name is pronounced in a similar way to ‘pistol’.
“Elite League hockey is only getting deeper and more competitive.
“I’m excited about attending such a respected school along with helping the club be a winning team on the ice this season.”
The 30-year-old Schiestel, who will wear #44 for Blaze, iced 46 times for the Devils last season in Elite League competition scoring six goals with 16 assists for a total of 22 points.
Before moving to the UK, Schiestel spent most of four years (2014-18) registering an average of half-a-point per game in well-respected European leagues including the DEL (Düsseldorfer EG), Denmark (Rungsted Seier Capital), EBEL (Fehervar AV19) and Norway (Lørenskog).
The Hamilton, Ontario native has 247 American League regular season and Calder Cup play-off appearances to his name with 63 points (2009-14).
In 2010-11, playing for Portland Pirates, he was named in the AHL all-star game.
In 2007, following stand-out seasons for Niagara IceDogs and Mississauga IceDogs of the OHL (267 regular season and play-off games, 132 points), Schiestel was picked second round (59th overall) by Buffalo Sabres of the NHL and played on a number of training camps with the American team.
“Drew adds massively to our back-end in all areas,” says Blaze coach Danny Stewart. “He has good size, skates well, moves the puck well and can play all situations.
“He’s coming off a play-off trophy with Cardiff and will bring experience to a young roster. We are delighted to get him on board next season and owe credit to our relationship with Coventry University Business School in making this happen.“
Blaze signings so far: Jordan Hedley (net minder), Oliver Lord, Evan Bloodoff, Alex Forbes, David Broll, Dillon Lawrence, Luke Ferrara, Dillon Eichstadt, Justin Hamonic, Justin Hache, Johnny Curran, Drew Schiestel, David Clements, Ross Venus.
Cardiff Devils pre-season schedule:
Saturday 10 and Sunday 11: Cardiff Devils v Fehervar (Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay)
Saturday 17: Nottingham Panthers v Devils (in Nottingham)
Sunday 18 Devils v Nottingham Panthers (Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay)
Sunday 25 Devils V MAC Budapest (Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay)
Friday 30 Devils v Mountfield HK (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 7.30pm)
Sunday 1 Devils v Graz 99ers (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 6pm)
Thursday 5 Mountfield HK v Devils (5pm)
Saturday 7 Graz 99ers v Devils (6.15pm)
Tuesday 8 Frolunda Indians v Devils (5pm)
Tuesday 15 Devils v Frolunda Indians (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 7.30pm)
Elite League and Challenge Cup fixtures still to be announced.
Devils’ confirmed signings:
Head coach: Andrew Lord
Netminder: Ben Bowns
Defence: Mark Louis (import).
Forwards: Joey Martin (import), Joey Haddad (import), Charles Linglet (import), Josh Batch.