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Volrab the final piece in the jigsaw
3:13pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Sport
ICE HOCKEY: Czech star Daniel Volrab is the final player announced for Gary Clarke’s 2013-14 Chelmsford Chieftains squad, ending weeks of speculation of the identity of Julius Sinkovic’s replacement.
As it turns out, the two players have effectively swapped teams as Sinkovic signs for Neuilly sur Marne in France, while Volrab leaves there to join the Chieftains.
The Decin native made his name in the Czech junior leagues and impressed so much that the Dallas Stars of the NHL deemed him worthy of their fourth round pick (126th overall) in the 2001 NHL entry draft.
After two strong seasons in the WHL and playing alongside such NHL stars as Washington Capital Mike Green and Mike Garnett who has gone on to be an even bigger star in the Russian KHL, Volrab returned to his homeland and spent a number of seasons playing in the second and third tiers mainly for HC Hradec Kralove and his hometown team HC Decin before a move to the UK with the Basingstoke Bison in 2011.
He scored over a point a game in the EPL and then moved to France last year where he racked up 14 points in 22 games in the much tougher league.
Clarke said of getting Volrab’s signature: “Daniel is a player who I’d tried to sign last summer but with no joy.
“When I found out Julius would not be returning I thought I would give it another shot and to my surprise Daniel was interested.
“After talking for a couple of weeks I’m pleased to say Daniel felt Chelmsford was the next destination in his long career.
“Daniel has played at the highest of levels in his home country as well as two seasons in the WHL.
“He has also played a season in the EPL with the Basingstoke Bison where he amassed 59 points and last year he played in France, ironically the team Julius has recently signed for.
“Daniel is a very experienced and mature hockey player.
“He can play both in the centre and on the wing. He is a very unselfish player who plays with incredible vision.
“On top of this he’s a great two way player and can find the net easily.
“He has played many years of hockey in Europe, one year in England, which I think is a huge advantage to bringing in a new import, as well as the physical side of the game the WHL has to offer, when he was in Canada.
“Every player and coach I have spoken with regarding Daniel who played with him and against him had nothing but strong, positive things to say which was pleasing to hear.
“I’m expecting Daniel to be a leader on and off the ice and I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”
With the squad now completed, Clarke finished up by summing up his squad.
He said: “I like the look of the team this year.
“I think we have two solid net minders once more, a strong defensive unit and a very well balanced but competitive forward line-up. “This will be the toughest year to date but I feel we have a team that can compete for silverware once more.”
The Chieftains have also announced a summer Meet the Players barbecue at Chelmsford Social Club on Bank Holiday Monday (August 26).
For further information, check out the Chelmsford Chieftains Facebook group.
If you would like to sponsor a player or the club, get in touch via the club website www.chelmsfordchieftains.com or www. chelmsfordchieftains.org
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