Completing the import lineup for Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning for 2019/20 is 27 year old Ari Närhi from Finland. Ari joins us from Riemu and has spent his entire career playing in the Finnish leagues, averaging a point per game in his time in the Suomi-sarja.
Cliff told us about how he chose Ari for the team: “It took me a long time to find the right player to be our second import, I had quite a specific set of criteria to hit, and I am convinced Ari will meet them. Ari has been playing in the Suomi-sarja for a few years and found the back of the net regularly in what is a very good league.
As a bit of an unknown to UK fans, Cliff put his contribution and playing style into context: “His stats stack up well against other Finnish players who have played in the same league who have played in this country before. Ari is predominantly a Centreman which is what I was looking for, but he can play on the wing if needed, and I am sure at some point this season he will end up doing a bit of both.”
Excited Ari had this to say: “I decided come to England because I have heard only positive things about English hockey and fans. Although It will be extremely hard to leave Finland because family are staying behind I’m excited to learn and see new things and culture. A Finnish proverb is ‘Sometime you have to go far away to see near’ and this is what I think my time in England will bring.”
Commenting on what he’ll bring to the team he said “Hopefully I add to the team speed and puck controlling. And also smart and clever hockey.”
Having done his research, Cliff gave us an idea of what we can expect: “When I was watching video of Ari one thing that came across was whilst he had a natural ability with the puck on his stick, he also worked extremely hard when he wasn’t in possession.
He finished by saying: “I’m really looking forward to working with Ari alongside all the other players we have on the roster for the upcoming season.”
Ari Närhi will wear the number 47 jersey. It is now available for Own and Loan.
Please give a warm welcome to Ari Närhi