Milton Keynes Lightning snap up Czech defenceman Martin Mazanec

    Image Credit: Milton Keynes Lightning Ice Hockey Club

    Milton Keynes Lightning have continued to bolster their blue-line with the addition of experienced Czech defenceman Martin Mazanec.

    The 28-year-old joins the Lightning after a season split between French league runners-up Nice and two-time Slovakian League Champions Zilnia.

    The imposing 6-foot-4, 207lbs right-handed defenceman brings with him the experience of having risen through the Czech hockey system, with the majority of his playing time coming in the second tier.

    In 340 regular season appearances with a number of teams in the second tier, Mazanec has contributed 22 goals and a further 63 assists – 85 points in total.

    His solitary season spent in the top tier of Czech hockey saw him feature 14 times for Piráti Chomutov in the 2013/14 season before spending a 39-game loan spell with SK Kadan in the tier below.

    He was loaned back to Kadan for the following season, where he made 51 regular season appearances and led them to the playoffs.

    He then moved to AZ Havirov, again in the second tier, for the 2015/16 season – where he ended the regular season as the team’s second-highest scoring defenceman, tied with Karol Korim with 20.

    The following season, Mazanec represented his hometown club, Ceske Budejovice, and helped lead the team to the Czech second-tier championship – the first piece of silverware in his professional career.

    He started the 2017-18 season with Nice, playing in the French league before a mid-season move closer to home with HK Zilnia.

    Milton Keynes Lightning Head Coach and General Manager, Doug McKay, is enthusiastic about the attributes the defenseman brings to his team:  “Martin played at a pretty good level when he was younger.”

    “He will bring a physical presence to the team but he moves very well for a big man - he’ll give our net minders protection in front of the net and has a great first pass from the back.”

    He concluded: “I’ve spoken to some of his previous coaches and all of them couldn’t speak highly enough of him, I know he will be a good fit for what I want us to achieve here.”

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