Manchester Storm have signed 26-year-old Canadian defenceman Mike Folkes.

The left-handed shot, 6’1 d-man joins the Storm after two years with Utah Grizzlies in the East Coast Hockey League.

Folkes, who was born in Burlington, Ontario played for Ohio State University (NCAA) and also spent two years with Carleton University (CIS).

Storm player-coach, Omar Pacha, said: “To build a solid defensive core with good size was our aim from the start, so when Pete (Russell) brought Mike to my attention we started to research him further as player and as a person.

“When we spoke to contacts in Utah, they had good things to say about Mike’s skill-set on the ice and his attitude off it.

“Mike is a player who takes care of his end first and plays with a focus to defend the blueline and keep the puck out of the net.

“He is a player that has a good first pass and plays a physical, smart and safe game. He will be a key asset to our penalty kill and will provide leadership on and off the ice.

“He is a player who will always stick up for his team-mates and Mike will be great in the community too. I believe he can become a real asset for the Storm.”

Folkes added: “I am very excited about joining the Storm this season.

“I have heard great things about the city and the league – and I am looking forward to hitting the ice in a few weeks.

“The coaching staff have been working hard putting together a competitive team and I’m proud to be a part of it.

“The fans should be excited and I am looking forward to meeting you all.

“The anticipation surrounding the team so far has got me counting the days until the first puck drops.”

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