Logan Prince has agreed to sign a two-way contract with the Division 1 Milton Keynes Thunder. With Pitbulls due to play Thunder this Sunday in a pre-season friendly, the game will now take on extra importance for the 19-year old forward.
The move is pending the completion of the appropriate dispensation being completed, but is expected to be finalised within the next few days. Once it has, it will mean that Prince will be allowed to play for Thunder whenever a Bristol Pitbulls game doesn’t clash.
With Thunder playing a 32-game league schedule, plus any potential playoff games, that should provide him with ample opportunity to test himself in the country’s second tier.
Prince was understandably excited at the opportunity being presented to him.
He said: “I am really looking forward to the start of the new season and playing for both Bristol and MK Thunder. I have already experienced playing NIHL 1 hockey last year for the Oxford City Stars and I am excited for the opportunities that this seasons two way will bring.”
Prince had a two-way contract with Oxford City Stars last season, playing 15 games and getting three assists with the Division 1 outfit. It was a situation Bristol Pitbulls Head Coach, Richie Hargreaves, felt benefited both player and club.
He said: “You can talk and tell all you want, but ice time is what is important. Especially in this country where we are short of rinks. Last season, it gave Logan the opportunity to train more and play at a higher level. Which he then brought back down to the Pitbulls. That then helped us win games.
“Players getting experience at a higher level is always going to benefit us. It brings confidence to the player, the knowledge that they can push themselves at a higher level.”
Milton Keynes Thunder General Manager, Dave Fairhurst, admitted that Prince was a good fit for the development ethos that exists within his club.
He said: “Milton Keynes Thunder are delighted to announce the signing of Logan Prince on a 2-way contract with the Bristol Pitbulls.
“Having seen Logan in training with the Thunder team, Head Coach Lewis Clifford was keen to get a deal done with Richie which enables Logan to ice with both senior teams.
“One of coach Clifford’s main jobs is to identify young talent who may be untried and untested but have the potential with the right coaching and environment to develop into quality senior hockey players. Together Richie and Lewis will help Logan push his game to the next level.”
Several Bristol players were given opportunities at higher levels last season. Most notably several of the Pitbulls were given the opportunity to play for Manchester in the now defunct EPL. It’s something that Hargreaves admits he is keen to encourage.
He said: “At the end of the day, although we try to put the best team out on the ice each week, we are also always looking to help players in their careers. To have these opportunities for Logan and other players to further their development while we are not in Bristol, is something that I will always encourage.
“I am happy to build these relationships with teams in higher divisions and give Bristol the reputation that we are truly a club from which a young player can grow.”