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The Cardiff Devils are pleased to confirm the signing of forward Matt Pope for the 2017/18 season.
The right winger joins the Devils after a season in Asia with the Tohoku Free Blades where he led the top league in scoring with 33 goals and 35 assists for 68 points in 46 games.
Pope played 4 years at Bemidji State University and then turned pro with the Bakersfield Condors in 2008/09 scoring 63 points (30 goals, 33 assists) in 54 games. He then spent the next 4 seasons splitting time between the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League before moving to Denmark in 2013 to join the Aalborg Pirates. During his team in the AHL, he played some pre-season games for the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. Below is a goal he scored in one of those games.
In 2013/14 with Aalborg he scored 21 goals and 26 assists in 53 games. He then moved to Italy where he played for Valpellice, scoring 25 goals and 41 assists in 42 games, then moved to Bolzano for the 2015/16 season before making the move to Asia last year.
The 32-year-old Pope stands 6’2” and weighs in at 205 lbs. Despite having a nose for the net and an offensive flair, he hits hard and gets into the odd tussle because of that. Below is one of his 33 goals scored last season.
Andrew Lord was excited to get Pope signed up for next season and thinks he will have a big impact on the EIHL.
“Pope is a power forward and wins battles all over the ice. He can score, make plays or grind it out in the corners. I see him as a real complete player.
“He led the league he was playing in last season in scoring and has been a top scorer wherever he goes. I expect him to bring that offensive ability to the Elite League this season.”
Matt Pope will be studying at Cardiff Met’s School of Management for the 2017/18 season, another major factor in deciding the sign with the Devils.
CLICK HERE to see Matt Pope's career stats courtesy of Elite Prospects