Lightning swoop for Flying Finn Luomala

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MK Lightning have added another name to their roster for next season with the capture of Finnish winger Marko Luomala.

Luomala moves to Milton Keynes from Italian club Gherdeina, in the top level of Italian ice hockey - Serie A.

Marko hails from Vaasa in south-west Finland and is a hard-working, very capable winger who has a strong pedigree, having played over 500 games in the top league in Finland as well as in Switzerland and Italy. Standing at 6’ 2” he will add to Lightning’s physical presence, his ability to read the game thanks to two decades of experience - much of it at a very high level - hopefully proving invaluable.

Lightning Head Coach, Pete Russell, spoke of how pleased he was to have secured Marko’s services, commenting: “I’m absolutely delighted to have signed Marko Luomala and to be bringing him to the EPL.

“He has great speed, good skills and a heavy shot. He’s a smart player with and without the puck, and has good game sense. He’s going to be a player who will bring a professional approach and be great for our younger guys to learn from.

“Marko can run the powerplay from the half wall but he has no issue playing low in the zone and going in hard to the net.

“He is another important piece of the jigsaw for Lightning and I can’t wait to start working with him when the season starts.”

The announcement comes after it was revealed five more names from last season’s roster wouldn’t be returning to the MK Arena.

Forwards Chris Wiggins and Ross Bowers, along with defencemen John Connolly and Ben Russell and netminder Jordan Hedley will all ply their trade elsewhere next season as Russell’s reshuffle continues.