The Proski Newcastle Northstars will welcome Canadian Sam Lawson to its lineup for the 2018 season.
The 24 year old centre joins the Northstars from the Innisfail Eagles.
Lawson said he is excited to move to Newcastle and make his debut in the Australian Ice Hockey League.
“I’m really excited to be joining the Northstars," he said. "The staff and players reached out and welcomed me immediately. It seems like the team has made some key additions to an already strong core of players, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Playing in the Allan Cup Hockey West league in Alberta this season, Lawson scored 5 goals and 8 assists across 20 games.
If the name Innisfail Eagles rings a bell or two, it is the team returning Can-Aussie Zane Jones - the Zane Train - was part of in 2016-2017 before playing for the Northstars.
Jones is not the only connection Lawson has to the Northstars, having been coached by Dave Ferrari in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
"Dave Ferrari knew all about Lawson, having worked with him for three years," Northstars general manager Garry Doré said.
"Ferrari gave really big wraps about this kid. Having played at the collegiate level against [Connor] McLaughlin and [Scott] Swiston he really developed that style of play and Dave asked to bring him out.”
Ferrari coached Lawson for three years during his junior career and knew that Lawson would be a great fit both on and off the ice for the Northstars.
"He will just be a great fit for the Northstars family," Ferrari said. "He will be the right character in the dressing room. Secondly, he will bring a really high work ethic. He’s great on the power play and has a great shot, makes him a well-rounded hockey player at both ends of the ice."
Lawson said he was looking forward to playing with Ferrari and Jones in Australia this season.
"Jonesy and I played together on a line in Innisfail last year and had a lot of fun," he said.
"I'm looking forward competing with him again. I was actually coached by Dave Ferrari back in the day too, so it will be cool to lace up alongside him! I can’t say enough good things about the both of them; top notch guys on and off the ice."
Lawson is the Northstars' third import announced for the 2018 season after Joe Harcharik and Tomas Landa.
See Lawson make his Australian debut at the season opener against Sydney Ice Dogs at Macquarie Ice Rink on April 21.