Cardiff Devils are ready to unleash the physical presence of Josh Batch as a power forward in Elite League.
Defenceman Batch, at 6ft 4ins an imposing, aggressive and hard-hitting British tough guy, is set to skate forward and add a steely edge on offence.
Elite League champions Devils have already signed five D-man, four imports plus Mark Richardson, and there is no official news yet on Canadian Andrew Hotham.
There is no question Hotham is also wanted by teams in top European leagues, but Devils head coach Andrew Lord has worked hard to bring the high end quality player back to Wales.
When asked about Hotham returning, Lord said: “Potentially, we’ll see.
“I’ve lost a lot of sleep over that one.”
If Hotham does return for a fourth successive with the Devils then it looks certain Batch and Scottish player Craig Moore will play as forwards. They can each play D or offence – and both have been listed as forwards on the club’s official website.
“Moore will be a forward, Batchy maybe,” said Lord.
Both Moore and Batch are committed to playing in the Pro Allstars legends match at Ice Arena Wales this Friday (7.30pm).
Andrew Lord flies back to the UK from Canada on Friday and is certain to be at the rink in Cardiff Bay over a weekend when the three-day Allstars tournament is being played.
Moore and Batch are joined by Devils team-mates Jake Morissette, Mark Richardson and Thomas Murdy in the legends game.
Steve Moria, Max Birbraer, Hilton Ruggles and Ian Cooper are among the former Devils players who return to the ice, along with Callum Buglass, James Manson, Simon Keating, Robbie Morris, Neil Francis, Chris Jones, Alex Symonds, Phil Manny, Phil Hill, Nicky Chinn, Jason Stone and Luke Piggott.
Birbraer and Cooper are the team captains.
All money raised from the Allstars weekend at IAW goes to the Ice Hockey Players Benevolent Fund (IHPBF) and the Special Care Infant Parent Support group (SCIPS).
There are eight teams competing in the Allstars tournament on Saturday and Sunday, an event which follows the big match on Friday.
More than £100,000 has been raised for UK Charities by the Allstars events. There will be action over three days, starting with the legends game on Friday.
Games are taking place all day on Saturday and Sunday. Ticket information is available by calling 0800 0842 666, while spectators can pay on the door and attend on either day to watch the games.
Teams competing in the tournament on Saturday and Sunday are Ty Hafan Hockey All-Stars, Blue Cross AllStars, UK Allstar Heroes, Breast Cancer Care Hockey, Team BHF UK Charity All-Stars, Team Wales Air Ambulance All Stars, Prostate Cancer UK, Dreams Come True Ice Hockey.
Friday night legends teams (7.30pm):
Ice Hockey Players Benevolent Fund (IHPBF), playing in the Red Pro Allstars jerseys: Ian Cooper (capt), Callum Buglass, James Manson, Brian Biddulph, Robert Dowd, Simon Keating, Robbie Morris, Craig Moore, Steve Moria, Owen Griffiths, Neil Francis, Mark Richardson, Jake Morissette, Chris Jones, Alex Symonds.
Special Care Infant Parent Support (SCIPS), playing in the Blue Pro Allstars jerseys: Max Birbraer (capt), Phil Manny, Graham Waghorn, Simon Hunt, Phil Hill, Nicky Chinn, Jason Stone, David Heath, Josh Batch, Luke Piggott.
To avoid queues on the night, advance tickets can be purchased online from cardiffdevils.com HERE
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