Andrew Hotham, Elite League’s most decorated player over the last three seasons, is back with Cardiff Devils for 2017-18.
Hotham was wanted by clubs in North America and around Europe, but has committed to Elite champions Cardiff.
The return of Canadian Hotham leaves Devils one short of a full import roster. They still have to add a forward.
Head coach Andrew Lord now has a full complement of D-men, Mark Richardson plus five imports, while versatile British pair Josh Batch and Craig Moore are likely to start the season as forwards.
Hotham played a key role for Devils as they won five trophies over the last three years, while he was named in the League AllStar first team in each season.
The 6ft 2ins D-man was also voted defenceman of the year three times and League player of the year last season.
Hotham led the league in scoring by a defender for the third straight season in 2016-17, scoring 17 goals and 56 assists for an incredible 73 points in 67 games.
He was the only defenceman to earn a place among the top 10 scorers, finishing tied for the Devils league top scorer with Joey Martin.
“Hotham can do it all and proved that last season,” says Devils managing director Todd Kelman. “He scores goals, quarterbacks the powerplay, kills penalties, blocks shots, hits hard and even drops the gloves every so often.
“He is the complete package and a huge signing for the Devils.”
Coach Lord is delighted to have Hotham back and describes him as a ‘special talent’ in the EIHL.
“He is one of the most skilled players I have worked with or played with in all my years of pro hockey,” says Lord.
“Hoth brings so much to this team and completes a defensive unit who are all mobile, move the puck well and can jump into the play.”
Devils have now signed 13 import players and have one high-end forward to add. Lord and Kelman are making strong progress on that front and will make an announcement over the next week.
Devils signings for 2017-18 season so far:
Netminders 2: Ben Bowns, Thomas Murdy.
Defence 6: Andrew Hotham (import), Bryce Reddick (import), Mark Richardson, Gleason Fournier (import), Drew Paris (import), Mark Louis (import).
Forwards 11: Josh Batch, Matt Pope (import), Jake Morissette (import), Layne Ulmer (import), Andrew Lord (import), Joey Martin (import), Joey Haddad (import), Sean Bentivoglio (import), Matthew Myers, Craig Moore (British u-23), Justin Faryna (import).
Ticket information is available on the club’s official website at cardiffdevils.com