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January 29, 2015


Genting Casino Coventry Blaze can confirm the signing of American forward Vladimir Nikiforov.

Blaze are hopeful the 27-year-old native of Hauppauge, New York, will arrive in time to make his debut at Cardiff Devils on Sunday.

Coach Chuck Weber said: "He is a skilled winger who can play on both sides.

"We are hoping he can come in and create some offence so we do not sacrifice our defence.

"Throughout his career he has been more of a set-up guy but he is known to go to the hard areas and can score some goals too.

"He has been just under a point a game in some decent league and hopefully he can translate that into this league.

"We need to find a way to start creating more offence and scoring more goals."

After three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with Barrie Colts and Sarnia Sting - posting 199 points (70 goals and 129 assists) in 210 games - Nikiforov joined Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL in 2008/09 and played 19 times in the American Hockey League for Bridgeport Sound Tigers, registering one goal and four assists.

He went on to make 148 regular-season and play-off appearances in the ECHL - also icing for Florida Everblades, Bakersfield Condors and Reading Royals - totalling 97 points (34 goals and 63 assists).

Nikiforov split the 2011/12 campaign with Brooklyn Aviators (Federal Hockey League) and Bloomington Blaze (CHL), where he had a point a game from 51 appearances, and played in Russia with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl a year later.

A season with Quad City Mallards in 2013/14 - accumulating 55 points (16 goals and 39 assists) in 77 games - followed and this season he has spent time with EV Weiden in Germany and Polish side Orlik Opole.


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