Bicknell lines up secret British whizkid for BeesBy Stephen Gillett
July 08, 2008
Adam Bicknell is hoping to unleash a surprise British signing on the English Premier League who could turn out to be so good that he ends up taking Bracknell Bees’ coach place on the second line.
Bees’ boss is reluctant to name the 18-year-old forward, who has been playing in the United States.
But Bicknell rates him so highly that he is prepared to consider relegating himself to the all-British third line next season.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on the lad, but the quality of this guy’s stick-handling is far in excess of anybody his age,” said Bees’ coach.
“He is very mature and very comfortable on the puck.
“He’s not massive, but if we get the team I want, I don’t think we will need any more muscle.
“And if he fits in well, he could play on the second line and I would play on the third.”
Bicknell has already persuaded British forward Joe Greener to join Bees after his spell honing his skills in North America.
And he is confident that the as-yet-undisclosed teenager will also be on the starting roster when the season gets underway in two months’ time.
Bicknell added: “He has the potential to be a huge signing.”
Bees’ boss re-iterated his intentions to go with Czech ace Jan Melichar as the club’s only import defenceman.
That would leave the other three overseas recruits all playing as forwards.
Slovakian Peter Jasik has already confirmed he will be returning for a second year, while Bees remain confident that Lithuanian international Andrius Kaminskas will be joining from Romford Raiders and Canadian hotshot Jeff Hutchins will be arriving from Elite League club Newcastle Vipers.
Bicknell said: “Most other teams last season had three import forwards and just one import defenceman.
“I think we were weak on scoring and I want to address that, but I am not going to sacrifice our ability to avoid letting goals in.
“Our games were low-scoring last season. I just want us to be the ones to score the most, and attack is the best form of defence. That is my philosophy.
“We have really strong goaltending (in Gregg Rockman and Tom Annetts) and we will start with four strong defencemen.”
Already confirmed on the blue line with Melichar will be Brits Scott Moody and Sam Oakford, while Bees are expected to announce soon that they have signed a British defenceman from one of their local rivals in the EPL club.
Greener’s elder brother Adam is expected to rejoin Bees just after Christmas, when he completes a two-year ban for failing a drugs test.
And Bicknell said: “That would give us five solid defencemen.
“If we get any injuries or run into penalty trouble I would prefer to switch British forwards into defence rather than our import forwards.
“Matt Foord has already shown he can do a good job, while my skates click into reverse every now and again.”