He’s one of the fastest players in the league and off the back of his best ever senior hockey points tally last year, we are thrilled that Rio Grinell-Parke will be pulling on a Lightning jersey again this upcoming season. 21 year old London born Rio appeared 45 times last year, amassing 13 goals and 29 points as well as 79 PIMs. A favourite amongst many supporters for his work ethic, game impact and attitude, as well as his exceptional skating pace, this is sure to be a very popular signing amongst our fans.
We caught up with Lightning Head Coach Lewis Clifford to get his views on Rio’s signing. He started by praising Rio’s work-rate on the ice: “Rio is a pleasure to have as part of the team. He is a player who has 2 settings, off and on, and on means 100% every time he steps foot on the ice. 99% isn’t in his vocabulary.”
Early on in our season it felt like Rio was scoring for fun, and across the year he ended up exactly where Cliff hoped he would in the scoring charts as Cliff noted: “As a player who can play up and down the lines, and who goes to the dirty areas of the ice on every shift, he gets rewarded with points. I was pleased with the total Rio produced last season and he would more than likely have made 30 points if the season had finished, which would have been there or there abouts for his targets for the season.”
Rio is still a young man and is working hard to build out all aspects of his game. As he further develops, Cliff is looking to Rio to consolidate his contribution to the team and continue to progress, as he explained: “This season we will be looking to work with Rio on his consistency across the whole season and as he matures he will realise that his contribution to the team is huge every night without putting pressure on himself to score every night. Performances aren’t always defined by what it says on the score sheet.”
Always popular, Rio is a great example of a player who loves to engage with our fans. For example, at the skate with the players events after certain matches, Rio often stayed out until the very end of the session playing high speed tag with junior players and giving them a few skating tips which was hugely appreciated. He’s looking forward to returning and shared his thoughts with us: “I’m excited to be back in a Lightning jersey this year. I feel my development is still in the works and has been improved since being here so I can’t think of a better environment for me to keep progressing other than MK Lightning and with the roster we have I think we have the potential to excel this year.”
Rio Grinell-Parke will wear the number 71 jersey which is now available for Own and Loan.
Please give a warm welcome to Rio Grinell-Parke
You can now apply for the Rio Grinell-Parke “Own and Loan” jersey by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – please indicate which jersey you would like.
Remember this is purely on a first come, first served basis:
DARK JERSEY: £200
LIGHT JERSEY: £200
WARM-UP JERSEY: £125
Both light and dark jerseys will be worn for half the season at home switching around mid-season.
Payment in full due by 1st October 2020