SAM ZAJAC declared himself satisfied after putting the final piece of his Leeds Chiefs jigsaw together.
Canadian forward Andres Kopstals , the team’s second import for the 2019-20 National League campaign, flew into Manchester Airport on Tuesday where he was greeted by player-coach Zajac.
He will meet up with his new team-mates at practice on Wednesday night as the team prepares to take to the ice for its first-ever game this Sunday.
The Chiefs, formed in May this year, will begin their debut campaign against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Steeldogs at Ice Sheffield (4.30pm), the curtain-raising fixture for the new second-tier of the UK game, which itself was only formed in June.
Leeds are scheduled to play their first 10 games on the road in their inaugural campaign while work is completed on their rink on Elland Road.
He is more of a two-way guy, essentially, responsible defensively and can start the rush on his own and bring other guys into play.Leeds Chiefs’ head coach, Sam Zajac
It’s expected that the rink will be open by late October with the Chiefs’ first home game scheduled for Sunday, November 3 against the Steeldogs.
In Kopstals, Zajac believes he has brought in an influential play-maker able to contribute at both ends of the ice.
The 25-year-old has spent the past five years playing Gryphons in the U Sports League in Canada – regarded as the highest level of play for universities.
“The second import signing is one we’ve put a lot of time and thought into – they both have been to be honest,” said Zajac.
“We didn’t want to rush it because with the other elements in the team finding the right guy and the right fit was very important, so we’ve done a lot of background research into Andres and spoke to him alot in the summer and he was very keen to come over, very keen to make an impression.
“He’s been playing at an extremely high level over in Canada. I’ve spoke to the coaching staff at Guelph where he’s coming from in the U Sports League and he’s been a big part of their success and they say he’s been the heartbeat of their team.
“He’s going to be a big part of what we do, he’s going to be a leader.
“He is more of a two-way guy, essentially, responsible defensively and can start the rush on his own and bring other guys into play.”
The Chiefs’ other import – Czech winger Radek Meidl – arrived in the UK Monday, in time to take part in the team’s practise session at Bradford.
Leeds are scheduled to play their first 10 games on the road in their inaugural campaign as work is completed on their Elland Road rink.
It’s expected that the rink will beopen by late October with the Chiefs’ first home game scheduled for Sunday, November 3 against the Steeldogs.