Telford Tigers are delighted to announce the signing of import forward Brady Heppner. The 28 year old American from Minnesota has played in the SPHL in the USA for the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs for the last two years and this summer has iced for the Sydney Ice Dogs in the Australian Ice Hockey League. Heppner, who will wear the number 95 shirt this season, brings speed to the Shropshire team’s line up and is able to play at centre or wing.
We caught up with Brady to discuss his signing:
Welcome to Telford. How did your signing come about?
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play hockey overseas, being American I’ve only ever played in the US. I decided to make the jump this coming year. I have a great agent who connected me with Tom Watkins, who actually won a championship with my college coach when he played in the EIHL. Tom Watkins’ extensive experience playing and coaching and winning championships at all levels of hockey made it an easy decision to sign in Telford.”
How much do you know about the National League in the UK?
“I don’t know a whole lot about the National League but I know in recent years the import spots have been very limited. From what I have heard, it seems like a very competitive and exciting league which is getting better every year and has very passionate fans and players.”
You have recently played in Australia, what is the standard like there?
“Australia has been a great place to play hockey as well as live in. The Aussies are very passionate about their sports and it has been a dream come true getting to play over here and experience day to day life in such a beautiful place.”
How did that differ from when you played in America?
The hockey is a bit different in Australia as most guys play on their hometown teams here. Where as in America our team was from all over the world. They have very high expectations on the imports that they bring over to play at a high level as they’re only allowed four to play each game. They bring more of a fun aspect to the game where as back home it is ran more like a business and you can be traded or released at any moment.”
How would you describe your style of play?
“I would say I play with very high energy and tenacity. I like to fly all over the ice and create lots of chaos for opposing teams. Making plays and scoring goals has always been something I pride myself on and hope to be able to continue doing that with the Tigers at a high rate.”
What kind of skills will you bring to the Tigers?
Some skills I believe I can bring to the Tigers are speed, goal scoring, hockey IQ and experience having played in various spots throughout my career as well as positivity as I pride myself in having a ton of fun while playing.”
Do you have a message for the fans ahead of the new season?
“I’m very excited to be a Tiger and play for Telford. I know the fan base is very passionate and I can’t wait to get on the ice and try and help bring another championship to the club!”
Telford Tigers Head Coach, Tom Watkins, commented“I’m delighted to welcome Brady Heppner to the club. I think he will be a really exciting player for the team. He’s coming off a couple of really solid seasons in the SPHL with the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, losing in the playoff final in the season before last and winning a championship in his last season. I played with Brady’s college coach Doug Schueller in my Coventry days and have had very good insight and feedback from him as a player and person. Brady is a great guy, has very good speed, will bring that speed and tenacity to our forecheck and will be very effective on the penalty kill. He really gets around the ice well and that speed will be an asset to our team. We’ve watched a lot of video of him which showed what he will bring to us. We know other clubs in the league were keen to sign him but we are pleased to get him and we welcome him to the club.”
Brady’s Own and loan shirts are available to order for £150 each (Home and Away). Please see the Tigers’ Online Shop for details.
In the 2023/24 season, Tigers are again offering individual player sponsorship at £500. The package will include a personalised ‘SPECIAL’ exclusive third jersey with a company name or family name patch, announcements on match nights, a small advert or logo in the match night programmes and a signed player photo. The jersey will be worn for cup games and play-off games and will not be available as a replica.
If you are interested or require more information on the individual player sponsorships, contact firstname.lastname@example.org