Bringing a further injection of goal scoring talent to our top lines, we’re delighted that Liam Stewart has signed for the Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning. 25 year old Liam is a British / New Zealand dual national and brings with him an impressive hockey background.
He will join us on 10th November from Skycity Stampede who are based in Queenstown, NZ where he has scored 21 goals and 33 points in 16 games this season. Liam’s background is primarily in North American hockey, beginning in Los Angeles before moving to Spokane Chiefs where he spent 4 seasons picking up a total of in 132 points. After around a dozen ECHL appearances he moved to the UK for two Elite League seasons with Coventry and Guildford, where he scored 21 Goals and 43 points. He is a GB international at U20 and Senior Level and secured the Gold Medal in the D1B championships in 2017.
MK Lightning Head Coach Lewis Clifford gave us the background on what has been a long held pursuit of Liam: “I have been speaking with Liam on and off for quite some time now, at first he was unavailable to commit to coming over, but a few things have changed which mean he is now able to join us in November. I have never met him personally but the guys in the team who have played with him either in Coventry or on GB teams in the past speak very highly of him as a person, and his hockey ability speaks for itself.”
Liam is a top quality player who will immediately slot into a prominent position in the team, and will create a healthy buzz of competition for the top spots as Clifford explains: “Bringing in a player of Liam’s calibre will not only provide us with a lot of ability on our top 2 lines, it will also give the guys who are here already more competition for spots on those lines. The reaction to that competition shows a lot about character and how much it means to guys to be playing in important situations as the season progresses.”
Liam told us how he was feeling about joining MKL, and what he’d be looking to achieve: “After taking a year off and coming down to play in New Zealand I’m really excited to get back overseas to the UK and play some hockey in MK. I know Russ Cowley and have been talking to him a bunch and he’s said nothing but great things about the fans and organization down in MK!! I’m excited to get going again.”
Overall this is an important development for MKL as we build a high performing team now, and set the foundations for our future development. Clifford has always been clear on the need to bring the right players in and reflected on what has at recent times been a stretched roster: “We (myself and the MKL Directors) always knew we had a small roster and it would more than likely be stretched at some point in the season but at the time there was no one on the market who was going to come here and make our team better. It would have been impossible to predict the injuries and other personal circumstances that have already hit us so early on in this season happening all at the same time, but they have and we have to play the hand we are dealt. Adding another high end British player at this point in time can only benefit us as we move forward.”
Liam will arrive with the team on the 10th November after he completes his plans in NZ. Clifford finished by summing up what this means to the team: “As the team continues to bed in and find its identity, bringing in a player with the skill set Liam possesses can only be a huge positive and I am looking forward to working with him and seeing him in an MKL jersey in a few weeks time!”
Liam himself finished with this message to the MKL fans: “I’m excited to meet you all and hopefully we can get some silverware coming our way this season!! Exciting times in MK. See you all soon!! -Disco”.
Player Sponsorship for Liam is Now Available at https://www.mk-lightning.co.uk/player-sponsorship/.
Own & Loan for Liam’s jersey is available at https://www.mk-lightning.co.uk/sponsors/own-loan/
Photo: Chasing the Puck