Leeds Knights make import switch as Bailey Conger replaces ousted Josh Adkins
Adkins was released yesterday after just over two months with the Knights, despite an impressive points haul which saw him post 13 goals and 11 assists in just 15 games.
But head coach Ryan Aldridge felt the Canadian was too inconsistent, prompting him to make the surprise move after less than two months.
Right-handed American Conger, 26, arrives for his first taste of UK hockey after an impressive year with the Knoxville Ice Bears in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL).
He finished fifth overall in points with 25 goals and 28 assists in 42 league and play-off games.
“He’s very offensively-minded,” said Aldridge. “We obviously lost a lot of goals in the summer and I believe he will help recuperate some of those goals. Hopefully, he’ll also have more cohesion with his linemates.
“We need two lines going which we’ve not had all season and hopefully he’ll be the difference.
"He is hungry to get here and get started and I am sure he will have an instant impact on the ice.”
Prior to his time at Knoxville, Conger spent time in the ECHL, primarily with the Kansas City Mavericks, where he posted 11 goals and nine assists in 37 games.
That followed a college hockey career that took in Providence College and Colorado College, the latter seeing him put up a point every other game.
Curiously, he started last season in the Swedish third it before returning to North America to the Peoria Rivermen, before eventually settling down at SPHL rivals, Knoxville.
On Adkins’s departure, Aldridge added: “It’s obviously a tough decision to make - especially after Sunday because that was probably the best game he’s played all year for us.
“But the decision was already made long before that. I just think he probably could have been better and more consistent over the time that he has been with us.”