Manchester Phoenix have added defensive prospect Joe Graham and promising forward Jacob Corson-Heron to the roster for 2013-14.
Nottingham-born Graham, 23, returns to Phoenix after spending the last three seasons with the Guildford Flames, where he picked up an EPL playoff title, and the Peterborough Phantoms.
The former Great Britain U20 international, who has also had spells with Nottingham Panthers in the Elite League and the Solihull Barons, notched 25 points in 40 games on the Phantoms’ blueline last season and is rated as one of the best young defencemen in the league.
“I really enjoyed my season with Phoenix and when Tony [Hand, Phoenix player-coach] called, it did not take too long to move back up North. I have one EPL medal and really want to add to that with Phoenix and win something for their great fans,” Graham told Phoenix TV.
Phoenix have also inked a deal for 20-year-old Corson-Heron.
The forward made his senior debut for his hometown club, the Milton Keynes Lightning, at just 14 and showed no sign of nerves as he notched an assist.
He gradually built up his ice time with the Lightning and made 31 appearances, scoring four points, as the club lifted the 2009-10 EPL championship.
Corson-Heron was an ever-present the following season but moved on to the Basingstoke Bison in 2011-12. He again played in every regular season game for his new club, notching three goals and nine assists in 54 games, but saw the 2012-13 campaign ruined by a serious knee injury, which limited him to just 15 appearances.
The young forward is now fully recovered and keen to make up for lost time with the Phoenix.
“The surgery went very well and I have recovered 100 per cent. I would not have moved if it had been any other way,” he told Phoenix TV.
“I am now really looking forward to playing for Phoenix and my new teammates. I am a 100 per cent player, will do anything the coach asks and am happy to stick up for my teammates if required. I have a whole season to catch up on and am ready for the new season.”
The latest signings mean Phoenix now have nine players under contract for the new campaign, including player-coach Hand. The others are forwards Michal Psurny, Frantisek Bakrlik, James Archer and Andy McKinney, along with defencemen Robert Schnabel and captain Luke Boothroyd.