The Cardiff Devils have bolstered their ranks with the signing of 20-year-old forward Sam Duggan who started the year in North America for the Jamestown Rebels in the NAHL.
As the Devils announced the move, Head Coach Andrew Lord stated “We believe Sam has the potential to be an impact player at this level and we hope that we can help him reach his full potential.
“Sam has a well-rounded skill-set and sees the game at a high level for his age. His time in Sweden has shaped him into a great player and has probably given him the opportunity to develop more than he would if he hadn’t made the move to Sweden.”
Duggan joins the side for his first professional season of hockey, and his first year back in the British game since leaving the British junior system in 2014, when he moved to Sweden and impressed during his time with the Örebero HK junior system.
After finishing up his time in Sweden last season, Duggan had a tryout for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, before signing for the Rebels of the NAHL and featured in five games for the American side.
Duggan is a gifted forward who can play both centre and on the wing and comes into the Devils roster with quite the reputation.
On the international stage, the 6’2” 198lbs forward has a bronze medal at the U18 level for GB, as well as a bronze and gold medal at the U20 level, and was part of the senior squad that secured promotion to Division 1A with a gold medal in 2017.
The move for the Devils adds another hungry Brit to the roster who’ll be looking to book his ticket to the World Championships next April as GB return to the top division for the first time since 1994.
Despite the lack of experience in the pro-game, Duggan should be a great addition to the Devils energy line on the fourth line alongside Matthew Myers and Craig Moore, especially since Toms Rutkis has joined the Swindon Wildcats again for the moment. He’s lethal with his shot and vision, able to score just as well as he can set up his teammates, so once he gets settled into the Devils roster he should see his role increase, as he’s just as reliable in his own defensive zone as well.
The move puts the Devils with two under 23 contracts on their roster with Duggan and Moore, while Rutkis and netminder Jordan Lawday are signed on two-way contracts.
Considering the Devils carry the oldest teams in the league with an average age of 30, they’re looking to invest in youth going forward right now, and with those four players on the books they’re looking to harbour one of the best British continents in the league to add to their other already elite Brits at the EIHL level.
At 20-years-old it’s unlikely we’ll see Duggan as more than a role player for now, but with coach Lord stating he sees Duggan as a perfect fit for now and in the future, it’s clear that the side see this move as a great one for his development into one of the leading British forwards in a few years time.