Lightning bolster roster with Lopuski signing

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Forward Mikolaj Lopuski has become the latest player to join MK Lightning for next season.

The Polish international moves to Milton Keynes from Polish top flight side GKS Tychy.

The Gdansk-born 30-year-old has been with Tychy since 2012 season and in all but one year averaged over a point per game. After beginning his career in his homeland, at just 19 years old he moved to the Czech Republic then, after two seasons, to a club in the Slovakian second tier in 2006. But early in the 2007 season he returned to his native Gdansk, accepting an offer in the top Polish league.

He was one of the Polish league title winning team in 2014-15, the league highest goal scorer in 2012-13 and was selected to represent his country in the last three consecutive Olympic Games qualification rounds.

Standing at 6’ 2” and weighing 198lbs, Lopuski will add physicality to the Lightning’s attack, using his considerable experience in a top European league as well as internationally.

Lopuski says he is looking forward to success in this new chapter of his hockey career: “Signing for Milton Keynes is the start of a new episode in my life, this is a team that I really want to be part of. I spoke with (netminder) Przemyslaw Odrobny and he had nothing but good things to say about the organisation.

“I know Pete Russell from his work with the Great Britain team and now I’m really happy to be working with him. Hopefully me and my family will be able to settle in quickly; we’re looking forward to making some happy memories here!”

Lightning Head Coach Pete Russell said: “He has good size, is a powerful skater and is strong on the walls. He’s strong down low and has a great shot. He has been a top end guy on his teams and is an important player in the Polish national team.

“I’ve been able to watch the Polish team a lot over the last three seasons and they just keep getting stronger - their mentality and work ethic has long stood out. When it looked like us signing Mikolaj was going to be possible, I knew we just had to make it happen. I’m absolutely delighted to have been able to add him to our roster.”