New boy Nathan determined to be a big hit for Phantoms

Nathan Salem in the thick of the action playing for Hull against Phantoms last season.
Nathan Salem in the thick of the action playing for Hull against Phantoms last season.
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New signing Nathan Salem has promised he will play ‘on the edge’ as Phantoms chase silverware next season.

The powerful forward has become the city club’s first new recruit ahead of their move into National Ice Hockey League (South).

Salem, a former GB Under 18 and Under 20 international, produced close to a point-per-game during an 18-month stint with Hull Pirates in the old English Premier League.

The 25 year-old is also confident that working under Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov will unlock further improvement.

He said: “I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Peterborough organisation from people who have played there. Slava is putting together a strong team for this season and I wanted to be a part of that.

“I compete every night to the best of my ability and I am very much a team player. I know I still have a lot to learn and I look to do better every game. I play on the edge and I like to finish all of my hits.

“I’m looking forward to being coached by Slava and I’m sure that will enable me to improve. It will also be good to play with a new bunch of guys and hopefully we can bring some trophies back to Peterborough for ourselves and the fans.”

Phantoms chief Koulikov is a long-time admirer of his new signing and he is expecting big things from him.

Koulikov said: “I have been a big fan of Nathan for years. He is a fast-skating, two-way forward who has a quality I adore in that he is very direct in the offensive zone.

“At the same time he is smart and unselfish on the puck, as well as being a true competitor who puts his body on the line. He is not afraid to go to areas when it hurts.

“He will be one of the leaders on our roster as we look to build a team which plays an entertaining brand of hockey.”

Salem joins captain James Ferrara and returning import Ales Padelek as the three confirmed members of the city squad for next term.

Phantoms will now feature in a nine-team NIHL South Division One after three sides – Chelmsford, Solent and Oxford – opted to drop a level.

The nine clubs will face each other twice at home and twice away to create a 32-game regular season with only the bottom side missing out on the play-offs.

The initial plan to have two smaller conferences has been scrapped due to the drop-outs.

The format of Division Two, featuring the treble-winning Islanders side, who now play under the Phantoms banner, is yet to be settled.