Category: Player News

2020-21 Signing Alert – Oscar Evans

The Solent Devils are today excited to welcome British forward, Oscar Evans.

Evans transfers to the Devils from Basingstoke, where he has played the last four seasons with both the Basingstoke Bison and the Basingstoke Buffalo, and this year will be playing on a two way agreement between the Solent Devils and the Basingstoke Bison.

“As soon as Alex approached me about a potential move to Solent, I spoke to a few of the guys and they all said nothing but positive things about the club,” says Evans.  “I spoke to Alex for a while, and I thought it could be the perfect environment for me, while I am still young and learning the game.”

Alex Murray, Solent Devils head coach says about the newest Devil,

“I’m delighted to be able to secure Oscar for the up and coming season!  He is a very talented young player, with experience of playing in the national league.”

Last season, Evans played 11 games for Basingstoke Bison and 6 for Basingstoke Buffalo, where he scored six goals and assisted on three others.  At just 19 years old, his senior career now consists of 79 games with 29 goals and 13 assists.

“Whilst I am with the Devils,” Evans states, “I will give everything I’ve got to try and give this team success!”

“Oscar needs game time at senior level,” comments Murray.  “Oscar has had the opportunity to play national league, learning his trade alongside some very talented players, however, now is the time for Oscar to get the game experience and continue his development with the Bison, while training and playing with the Devils.”

From starting in the youth system in Basingstoke, Evans played at Swindon for a few years before moving back to Basingstoke for the start of his senior career, and was part of the NIHL 1 league champion Bison team in the 2017/18 season.  Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Evans simply says,

“My goals this season are to stay fit and give 100% all the time I am on the ice.”

Murray, obviously has big plans for his newest signing, going on to say

“Oscar will be expected to play an important role this season, with some players not returning, we need the likes of Oscar – and others – to step into these key roles.”

Evans will be joining the Devils in shirt #77.  If you would like to sponsor a Devil, or find out about becoming a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.

2020-21 Signing Alert – Connor Hutchison

Today, the Solent Devils are delighted to announce the signing of British forward, Connor Hutchison.

Hutchison, formally of the Bracknell Hornets commented about his move to Solent by saying,

“The decision I have made to has come from playing against the Devils. In competition with them, it is always a competitive game, which I really enjoy, and to be part of a team that has done so well in previous seasons is exciting to me.”

Solent Devils head coach, Alex Murrray, pleased to add the 21 year old to the roster says

“I am pleased to be able to bring Connor to the Devils.  He is young and exciting, but is also an experienced player at this level. Connor will add some grit to our line-up, as well as the potential to put the puck in the net.”

After coming from the youth development in Basingstoke, Hutchison spent a little time in the senior organisation there, and had a period with Milton Keynes Thunder, moving to Bracknell Hornets at the back end of the 2017/18 season.  Over the course of his senior career, Hutchison has played 121 games, where he has amassed 22 goals and 24 assists – 6 goals and 6 assists during the 2019/20 season, where he played 21 games with the Bracknell Hornets.

“I’m looking forward to coming to the Devils,” says Hutchison, “I plan on bringing hard work, and hopefully I will be able to help the boys bring home some trophies!”

“Bringing in young talent like Connor will help supplement the experience we have and help compete for places,” Murray says.  “Connor will fit in nicely to our philosophy and the small rink, where I feel his game will flourish.”

With Murray’s talk of the Devils philosophy, and his desire to have a group of team-first players, Hutchison is already talking like a Devil, as he says

“My aims for the season are to put points up and do what I need for the team.  I’ve got a lot to give and I’m willing to work hard to achieve that.”

Murray finishes with his coach’s hat on, thinking about the development opportunities Hutchison has,

“I’m hoping Connor can be a consistent performer, put up some points and play tough when needed. I’m looking forward to working with Connor to fulfil the potential he has!”

Hutchison joins the Devils in shirt #6.  If you would like to sponsor a Devil, or find out about becoming a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.

 

2020-21 Signing Alert – Mason Wild

Today, the Solent Devil’s are delighted to welcome back British defenceman, Mason Wild.

“I’ve played for the Devils for five consecutive seasons and every season has been great,” says Wild, when talking about why he has re-signed once more with Solent.

“The atmosphere from the fans is excellent and we are always pushing to compete with the tougher teams. It’s where I started playing and now that I’m permanently living on the South Coast, Devils are my home team.”

“Mason is an exceptional player,” Devil’s head coach, Alex Murray, proudly states. “He has loads of experience, with a very clear understanding of the clubs philosophy and the direction we are going. Mason is a very reliable player on the ice, and can be very versatile in his position.”

Wild played just eight games last season before having to unexpectedly cut the season short.  Those eight games however, added a goal and four assists to his Devil’s career stats, now standing at 18 goals and 34 assists in 122 games, with the club where he first started playing hockey.

“I was unlucky to get a freak injury to my finger, which has put me out of hockey for about 9 months. That’s the longest I’ve been out of hockey for a while,”

Wild says, somewhat modestly, having played 156 games since commencing his senior career, earning a total of 22 goals and 47 assists, which included two seasons for Oxford City Stars.

“I had a regular succession of injuries over the past few seasons and this has been a great time to recover properly and get ready for the season ahead. I’ve been doing a decent amount of fitness and rehab which will hopefully help me back on the ice.”

“I was devestated for Mason when he suffered his finger injury, which was one of the worst I’ve ever seen,” sympathises Murray, who is no stranger to injury himself.

“It has taken a lot of time to recover from, so I’m hopeful Mason will be back to full fitness to fulfil his role as alternate captain for the team. Mason will be a key player in our squad, expected to play big minutes, and I have no doubt he will perform when on the ice.”

After his recovery and looking forward to the season ahead, Wild jokes,

“I always laugh with Alex that my goal for the season would be to have a full one – luckily I’m not that superstitious! With everything that’s going on in the world at the moment it’s hard to predict how the season will unfold.”

Having been a league champion in 2013/14, and as part of the playoff winning team from the 2017/18 season, then playing in the final the following year, Wild is used to playing the important games – not accustomed to sitting on the sidelines.

“I’m excited to get back on the ice and play some competitive hockey. It was strange being a spectator last season but was also great to watch such a strong team.”

Murray wraps things up simply by saying, “I hope Mason has a positive season, he deserves it following last year’s incident. I know, if we have Mason on the ice, we have a much better chance of winning!”

Wild returns to the Devils in shirt #41. If you are interested in sponsoring a Devil, or becoming a team sponsor please contact devilssupporters@outlook.com

2020-21 Signing Alert – Ben Lock

Today, the Solent Devils are delighted to announce the re-signing of British defenceman, Ben Lock.

The veteran defender returns to Solent for his seventh consecutive season, and excitedly says,

“There is no secret of my love for the club, I wouldn’t play anywhere else. This really feels like my second family, from the management to the coaching staff – and the fans!  We were onto something special last season, and we definitely have unfinished business. The team Alex is bringing together is exciting, and I am really looking forward to being back on the ice.”

Alex Murray, Solent Devils head coach is obviously happy to have the stalwart defender back again.

“Ben is a key member of our squad, who is very experienced at this level,” Murray says.  “Ben is a team first guy, who is willing to put his body on the line for the benefit of the team!  His presence in our end is essential to our success.”

Over the shortened 2019/20 season, Lock played 26 games, scoring a pair of goals and helping out with 6 assists.  These numbers add to Lock’s impressive career totals, where he has played 277 games, with 21 goals and 43 assists – the Devils have been lucky enough to have the skilled blue liner for 156 of those games, where from his totals 19 goals and 34 assists have been for the Devils.

“I was reasonably happy with my performance last season,” says Lock.  “After two years out of NIHL 1, it is pleasing to still be able to play big minutes for Alex and help the team be extremely competitive.”

Murray goes on to say,

“Locky had a great season, his defensive stats speak for themselves, but I was definitely impressed with his offensive contributions too, which have seen Ben become a top player in this league.”

From his early years in Guildford, Lock moved to Slough where he was part of the 2010/11 ENL2 league championship squad.  Lock moved to Wightlink Raiders in 2012/13, and a year later with Raiders went all the way to the Playoff final, where the team were runners up to Chelmsford Chieftains.  His move to the Solent Devils in 2014/15 saw Lock go on to be part of the playoff winning team at the end of the 2017/18 season, where the Devils beat Chelmsford in Bracknell.  Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Lock simply says

“My aims are very much the same as the last six years, to be solid in defence – whether that’s blocking shots or corner battles, which allows our highly skilled forwards to do their job.”

Murray, echoing these sentiments, doesn’t want Lock to change his approach,

“I want more of the same from Locky this year, his performances have always been consistent, and I am excited to see him back out on the ice.”

Lock returns to the Devils in shirt #71.  If you would like to sponsor a Devil, or find out about becoming a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.

2020-21 Signing Alert – Mark Duffy

Today, the Solent Devils are pleased to announce the signing of British netminder, Mark Duffy.

Duffy moves to the Devils from Oxford City Stars, where he has spent almost half of his senior career, after moving from Bracknell in 2016.

“I’m joining the Devils because I think they’re a great organisation,” Duffy says.  “I’ve seen them come on a lot over the past few years, and I am really excited to be a part of that.  I’ve known Alex Murray since we were kids, and I know he’s a winner – I’m looking forward to being coached by him.”

“I’ve known Duffy since we were kids,” echoes Devils head coach, Alex Murray, “I’ve played a lot of hockey – mainly inline – with him and he is a great guy, very experienced between the pipes at this level.  I have tried to sign Duffy a few times during my tenure with the Devils, so I am delighted I have finally managed to bring him in.  Mark will provide competition to Chico, which is both healthy and needed at this level.”

Duffy’s career spans 130 games, with a 4.79 GAA and a save percentage of 85.66% and was part of the league winning Oxford team over the 2017/18 season – the year Oxford pipped the Devils to the league title.

“I’m hoping to bring a strong alternative to Chico in net,” says Duffy, when asked his reasons for the move.  “Chico is one of, if not the best goalie in the league and I want to push him to make sure he stays at his best all season long!  I hope I can bring a bit of experience to the squad as well, which has some great young players in it.”

Murray lays out his expectations for his new signing, simply and concisely,

“Duffy has been around the game long enough and understands his role well.  He has been brought in to challenge Chico and he recognises that he has an opportunity to join a club who are heading in a really positive direction – we are really happy to have him involved.  We will be looking for Duffy to win us games when in net, and to quickly become acclimatised to the small rink at Solent.”

Duffy joins the Devils in shirt #98.  If you would like to sponsor a Devil, or find out about becoming a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.

 

2020-21 Signing Alert – Richard Facey

Today, the Solent Devils are overjoyed to announce the return of club legend, Richard Facey.

Facey, having come through the youth system at Solent, went to Basingstoke in 2003 then spent a few seasons with the Buffalo with some time over on the Isle of Wight.  Facey then spent three seasons in Canada with the Banff Academy Bears, before returning to England and the Wightlink Raiders for the 2010/11 season and the subsequent few years, coming back to Solent to start the 2015/16 season.

“I’m very happy to be back,” Facey says, “I’m really proud to be part of the community of the Solent Devils and I’m very excited to see everyone, hopefully soon, after such a long break.  With the programme that Alex has put together, I believe we are a top club to play for that gives a good opportunity for young guys to grow and improve, by playing along side more experienced established players.  I’ve enjoyed being part of that and hope to help it continue.”

Solent Devils head coach, Alex Murray, simply says

“Richard is my right hand man, he has become so involved with the club that it would not feel right without him standing next to me.”

Over his career, Facey has played 428 games, scoring 277 goals and earning 422 assists – meaning he is just one point from 700 career points.  The list of accolades and achievements earned by Facey is possibly one of the longest for any player, with three consecutive seasons being voted into the all-star team, a league championship, two time BUIHA tier one champion, and won the post-season playoff competition twice (including with the Devils at the end of the 2018/19 season).  For the Devils, in his 157 games, Facey has found the back of the net 160 times and contributed 201 assists.

“As always, there were some elements of my game that I was happy with last year and some that I wasn’t,”

Facey comments, humbly, after the 2019/20 season saw him earn the most points in the league for the second consecutive season.

“I lacked some consistency, as I was not in the physical condition that I would have liked to have been in.  With the long break, I have put some time into working out and so hopefully I will see the benefits this season.”

Murray, somewhat more enthusiastically, is prepared to give the veteran forward the credit he deserves for his efforts over the last season,

“Richard’s stats speak for themselves.  He was top points scorer in the league, voted as an all-star forward, and contributed in every game. I was very happy with his contribution last season, which is indispensable at this level.”

After the 2019/20 season was cut short, with the Devils in second place in the league and chasing the top spot, with their eyes once more on the playoffs, thoughts start heading towards the upcoming season, and the possibilities it could bring.

“My goals this season are for the club to compete again,” says Facey, “with the hope to be in the conversation for silverware at the business end of the season.  I think that with the core group that we have, we can have a really good season and I’m looking forward to getting started again.”

 

“It will be another difficult season,”

Murray cautions, as his ever vigilant view on the rest of the league and the movement of players within it over the summer shows him how the competition will be when games finally get underway.

“With teams around us investing in additional players to try and compete, we have to keep improving if we want to keep up!  Richard has to continue leading the line and be a big player in the big games.”

Facey will return to the Devils in shirt #28.  If you would like to sponsor a Devil, or find out about becoming a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.