SIGNING: Sharks net Hutchinson to boost blueline corps
Building Craftsmen Dumfries-sponsored Solway Sharks are delighted to add defenceman James Hutchinson to their squad for the 16/17 NIHL season.
The 32-year-old Tynemouth native arrives at the Ice Bowl 15 years after his last spell in this division with hometown club Whitley Warriors.
Since then, Hutchinson has gained a wealth of experience in the Elite League, Premier League and British National League as well as a season with Morzine in the French league.
Last season, Hutchinson was assistant captain with EPL new boys Hull Pirates, where he collected 22 points in 48 games (2+22) with only 30 penalty minutes.
In addition to his club career, the blueliner has represented England at u19 and Great Britain at u18 and u20 levels. He has won the ENL, EPL and Elite League titles with Whitley, Peterborough and Belfast respectively and brings a huge amount of experience to the Sharks defensive corps for the coming NIHL campaign.
Coach Martin Grubb was understandably pleased to have got his man.
“I am delighted to be able to welcome James to the club and I think this is a huge signing for us.
“It’s not often a player with his experience becomes available. He has played at the top end of the game for a long time and has always been a guy his team relied on, has always been a leader and that will be huge for our young players.
“He is a very good defenceman who stays at home and takes care of his own zone but can also add good numbers as he has great vision and can make a good pass as well as running the power play and that will be valuable for us.
“The fact he has played on top teams in both the EIHL and EPL speaks volumes for him and he also has international experience with GB and his time in France. I am looking forward to working with James and he will play a big role for us in all situations and we have needed a top British D to compliment our young guys for a while and he more than fits the bill.
“I think he instantly makes our team better and his teammates will love having him here.”
Hutchinson will wear #55 for the Sharks and joins import Juraj Senko, Stuart Andrews, Stuart Kerr and James Wallace at the back for the new season.