One in and one returnee

Tuesday, 10th May 2011

Manchester Phoenix is pleased to announce the signing of experienced British centre Slava Koulikov and the return of fans’ favourite Tom Duggan.

Slava brings a wealth of experience to the EPL Champions, having played over 500 games at all levels of British Ice Hockey. Emigrating in 1993 from his home in Ekaterinburg, Russia, with his father Alexandr, Slava made his mark on the junior scene in Hull before debuting for Kingston Jets of the English Division 1 in 1996, and then progressing in the same season to the Kingston Hawks of the British National League. He then had brief stops in Milton Keynes, Dundee, Kiev, Solihull and Chelmsford before returning to his adopted home in Hull with the Stingrays in the BNL and the Elite League.

The 32 year old British-qualified player joined Slough Jets mid-season in 2009/10 and was part of their play-off winning squad. He iced again for the Jets last season and this time played his part in the Jets winning of the Premier Cup. In 52 regular season games last year, he notched up 23 goals and 58 assists with 34 penalty minutes for the Jets.

On Slava’s departure from the Jets, his former coach Peter Russell commented: “Over the last two years Slava has put up lots of points on the board and a fair bit of mileage on his car through commuting from Hull each week. He is a great talent, has been a joy to work with, and will be missed around the team. It’s been great to see Slava find his old form in Slough and rebuild his career.”

Coach Tony Hand said: "Slava is a great signing for us. It is not often a player of Slava's quality comes on the market. We also have the added bonus of him being British qualified. This makes quite a difference as I look to form the lines for next season."

Phoenix completed the signing of the centre position for season 2011/12 with the return of Tom Duggan. The popular 20 year old is currently studying business management at Sheffield University and had no hesitation signing on the dotted line when asked to return by coach Hand.

As a 14 year old the Reading born player moved across the Atlantic to the famous Shattuck St. Mary’s school to further the hockey education he started at Bracknell. He spent four years honing his skills in Minnesota, returning home to Bracknell in 2008. Tom moved to Surrey the following season to join the Guildford Flames, winning an EPL Cup winner’s medal and a gold medal with the Great Britain under 20 team in the World Championships in that season. However, he felt his ice time was restricted and when the opportunity arose to sign for Phoenix last year, he did not take much persuading.

In a successful first year with Phoenix, Tom scored 13 goals and had 17 assists. He was awarded the coach’s player of the year trophy by Tony Hand and the Supporters’ Club player of the year.

Tom commented: “The fans were brilliant all season and the turnout at Coventry was amazing. I hope I can repay their faith in me again next year and help Phoenix to further silverware.”

Tony Hand commented: " Tom was my choice as coach's player of the year. His effort was outstanding all season. Even when he had his shoulder injury, it was difficult to keep him off the ice until he was fit enough to take a shift. Tom never gives any less than 100% every shift . He is still a young lad and will no doubt make an even more significant contribution next season."

Player Profiles

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Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Slava Koulikov

Slava Koulikov

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