Clarkson signs on for Tigers
Telford Tigers have completed the signing of 6â€™5″ Canadian forward Doug Clarkson from Elite League side Dundee Stars.
The 27-year-old won the EIHL â€˜Player of the Weekâ€™ award at the start of last season, amassing 43 points for the Scottish outfit.
Clarkson will arrive in Shropshire with a total of 83 EIHL points under his belt, following a year with Cardiff Devils in 2014/15.
He also struck 34 points in a single campaign for Nipissing University in the tough Canadian CIS league.
Tigers coach Tom Watkins expects his latest capture to make a big impression in the English Premier League next season.
He said: â€œDoug has played at a good level in some very good leagues, but what attracted me the most was his performances in the UK, and his Canadian college stats.
â€œFor a big guy, it is easy to assume heâ€™ll use his physical presence to protect his team-mates. Doug will do that, of course, but his two 20-goal seasons in the Elite League will transfer well to the EPL.
â€œHeâ€™s got a unique skillset for this league, so heÂ will be very hard for other teams to play against and physically handle.
â€œWe play in a small rink and he uses a big stick, so Doug will be extremely hard to beat. As a defenceman, if I saw him barreling down on me, I would be very nervous.â€
Clarkson will fit into a Tigers squad that has undergone a string of changes this summer, with several members of the 2015 double-winning side having already departed.
Watkins added: â€œWhen you sign an import, youâ€™ve got to know that heâ€™ll fit in easily and for a North American guy like Doug, he will do that with no issues at all.
â€œWith us losing Max, replacing that size was important, so having him around the dressing room and his on-ice presence will be huge for us. I am sure he will become a fansâ€™ favourite.â€
Clarksonâ€™s size will, of course, be a key attribute for the Tigers next season, and could point the way towards a more hard-nosed approach from the Shropshire men.
â€œI want us to be noticeably bigger and thatâ€™s not just one guy,â€ Watkins said.
â€œThat size and toughness is not the first thing that attracted me to Doug, but itâ€™s obviously an attribute he does have. Itâ€™s something that we as a club probably havenâ€™t had for some time.
â€œIt allows other guys to play bigger than they really are and heâ€™s going to add a different dimension to whatâ€™s around the league. Iâ€™ve got a good expectation of him being a 30-goal guy for us.â€
To purchase Doug Clarksonâ€™s own and loan shirt for just Â£100, or to become an equipment sponsor from just Â£5, emailÂ firstname.lastname@example.org.