ICE HOCKEY: Who’s who in this season’s Phantoms squad

Ales Padelek on the puck for Phantoms against MK Lightning. Picture: Alan Storer
Ales Padelek on the puck for Phantoms against MK Lightning. Picture: Alan Storer

Peterborough Phantoms start their English Premier League season this weekend with the following squad . . .

NETMINDERS

#33 JANIS AUZINS

Nationality: Latvian

Age: 24

As coach Slava Koulikov regularly says, Auzins is ‘the best goalie in the league’.

#32 DAN LANE

Nationality: British

Age: 21

Local lad and son of the owners. He will divide his time between backing up Auzins and icing for the Peterborough Islanders.

#30 ADAM LONG

Nationality: British

Age: 19

Just like Lane, he will feature for both Phantoms and Islanders in the 2015/16 campaign. Has returned to the Peterborough set-up from Chelmsford.

DEFENCEMEN

#2 TOM NORTON

Nationality: British

Age: 25

One of the best British D-men at English Premier League level and signed a contract extension in the summer. He will more than likely pile up plenty of assists as well as keeping opponents out.

#11 SCOTT ROBSON

Nationality: British

Age: 20

Rewarded for a terrific first season in Phantoms colours with a new two-year deal. A young defenceman of considerable promise.

#19 JASON BUCKMAN

Nationality: British

Age: 36

The father figure of the defensive ranks. Buckman is enjoying something of an English Premier League renaissance after stepping back up to this level 18 months ago. Played in play-off finals for Phantoms 12 years apart.

#37 ROBBIE FERRARA

Nationality: British

Age: 25

Forced his way back into the Phantoms fold on a permanent basis after impressing in the second half of last season. He had initially dropped into the Islanders, but was called back up to provide injury cover – a job he did superbly.

#51 CAM MCGIFFIN

Nationality: British

Age: 19

Another bright, young British prospect who has been rewarded for a fine debut season with a two-year deal. An elegant and classy performer with plenty of scope for further improvement.

#55 GREG PICK

Nationality: British

Age: 22

Fans’ favourite who has the back of his team-mates. A solid and strong defenceman about to begin a third full season with the club.

FORWARDS

#8 DARIUS PLISKAUSKAS

Nationality: Lithuanian

Age: 34

Phantoms had to fight off interest from a host of other clubs to retain the services of a supremely-gifted forward. The Lithuanian international contributed 52 points in his first full season in Peterborough and excelled during the play-off final weekend. He has now penned a two-year deal to stay at Planet Ice.

#16 MARC LEVERS

Nationality: British

Age: 34

A class act with a multitude of Elite League honours after a fine career in the top-flight. He was also an important figure in Phantoms’ trophy success of last season (his second with the club) and struck a crucial goal during the play-off final triumph over Manchester.

#17 JAMES FERRARA

Nationality: British

Age: 27

You would struggle to find a more proud sportsman than Ferrara when he held aloft the play-off trophy back in April. A tremendous servant to Phantoms on and off the ice and a capable player, just as at home in a defensive role as playing forward, who was handed a two-year deal in the summer.

#24 LLOYD GIBSON

Nationality: British

Age: 25

A Sheffield native who played all his hockey for clubs in his home city until joining Phantoms in the summer. He already boasts more than 450 appearances in the English Premier League and has racked up over 200 points.

#28 MILAN BARANYK

Nationality: Czech

Age: 35

A mercurial player, who enjoyed a fine first season in British hockey culminating in trophy glory. Quickly settled into the hustle and bustle of the English Premier League with 27 goals including three during the play-off weekend.

#29 WILL WELDON

Nationality: British

Age: 22

An aggressive forward who has become part of the furniture at Planet Ice. He boasts a work ethic second to none and it set to start his fifth season in Phantoms colours having already iced more than 200 times for the club.

#35 MARTINS SUSTERS

Nationality: Latvian (qualifies as a Brit)

Age: 16

Teenager with a serious amount of talent. A points machine in junior hockey and takes no prisoners in the senior game either.

#71 EDGARS BEBRIS

Nationality: Latvian (qualifies as a Brit)

Age: 24

Former Sheffield Steeldogs player who improved throughout his debut season with Phantoms to help them capture play-off glory. A man big in stature and skill will be expected to rack up a half-century of points again.

#88 CRAIG SCOTT

Nationality: Canadian (qualifies as a Brit)

Age: 24

The son of a Milton Keynes star of the 1990s, Scott is already a big hit with Phantoms fans thanks to a couple of fine pre-season performances as they lifted the Ashes. An all-action forward sampling British hockey for the first time.

#93 ALES PADELEK

Nationality: Czech

Age: 35

A player well-known to coach Koulikov after impressing for him at Slough in the 2013/14 campaign. Fired 32 goals for the Jets that term and a similar return will suit Phantoms nicely. Padelek has spent the majority of his career in his homeland but arrived here from a stint playing in Australia for the Sydney Bears.

DEVELOPMENT PLAYERS

CONNOR STOKES

Nationality: British

Age: 22

A bustling forward who will ice for both Phantoms and Islanders this season.

JAMES WHITE

Nationality: British

Age: 18

A highly-rated local lad who’s progress has been held up by a dislocated shoulder suffered in the game against Solway. Will appear for both senior Peterborough sides when fit again.

BRAD MOORE

Nationality: British

Age: 19

Another player who will benefit from training and ice-time with Phantoms while playing most of his hockey with Islanders. Managed a goal and assist for Phantoms last season.