Pete Russell's Elite League squad is continuing to take shape with the signing of Canadian defenceman Carl Hudson, signed from Chamonix Morzine in France.
Carl, 31, was signed by the NHL Florida Panthers on an entry level contract and brings with him significant experience gained in Europe as well as in the United States and his native Canada.
He learned his skills in the junior leagues in his home country before signing for Canisius College in New York in 2008; in his debut season he was top scoring defenceman with 21 points in 34 games. In his final season in the NCAA with Canisius, he was one of just six players selected for the league’s second all-conference team in recognition of his abilities.
In 2010 came an offer of a one year, two-way entry level contract for the NHL Florida Panthers, hot on the heels of a spell with the US side’s AHL affiliate club, Rochester Americans. He spent that season with Cincinnati Cyclones, an affiliate club of Rochester. It was during Hudson’s time with Rochester that he met Andrew Lord who would later engineer his move to Cardiff Devils, for his first experience of the British game.
In 2012 came a move to Germany ESV Kaufbeuren where, in his first full season he was the team’s top scoring defenceman. In 2013 he began a season with Morzine Avoriaz in France where he scored more goals and points than any other defenceman in the league. Two seasons with the EIHL Cardiff Devils followed - the side winning the Elite League Cup and topping the Earhardt Conference - before he left for another season in France. Now he returns for another spell in the UK’s top flight, with the Lightning.
He said of his new challenge: “I’m really excited about coming back to play hockey in the EIHL, and looking forward to helping the Lightning succeed in their first season at the top level. I can’t wait to get to Milton Keynes to meet the town’s fans and skate with my new team!”
Head Coach, Pete Russell, commented: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to add Carl Hudson to our line up for next season. He has a lot of skill, is a strong skater and very fast - which will make him a handful to play against at both ends of the rink.
“Our large ice pad will be great for Carl’s style of play. He’ll be a great asset on the power play and he has a very good shot. He is a strong person both on and off the ice and is another great addition to our line up for the coming season.”