Hopkins latest to commit in summer of change as Streatham Redskins look toward serious title challenge

The close season has been a busy one for Streatham Redskins, with some players leaving and other arriving.

Most recently, defenceman Dom Hopkins confirmed this weekend he will return for the 2015/2016 season, his fourth campaign in Redskins colours since joining from Wightlink Raiders.

He will be joined next season by new signings Chris Wiggins, a forward from Milton Keynes Lightning, and former GB international Nicky Chinn, who will be taking on a coaching role as well as playing.

Many of last season’s squad have departed though, with forwards Sean Scarbrough, Louis Lockwood and Callum Best, goaltender Aaron Taylor, and defenceman Stewart Tait all leaving south London.

Hopkins’ return is a major boost for head coach Warren Rost, as the 6ft 5in blueliner ended last season as the highest scoring defenceman in National Ice Hockey League South and picked up a place on the Pro Hockey News league All-Star team.

“It was an easy decision for me to sign up for another season at Streatham,” said Hopkins.

“We have amazing fans, a fantastic facility and an organisation that is first class at making sure everything is in place for us to just turn up and concentrate on playing.

“After speaking with Warren, I am really excited at the upcoming season and the team we are putting together.

“The club has taken yet another step forward this year and we will be right up there challenging for silverware. I can’t wait to get started.”

The signing of Chinn is particularly exciting for Redskins’ fans. The 42-year-old has played at the very top level of ice hockey in this country and appeared at five world championships with Great Britain.

“I am really excited at the challenge ahead in Streatham,” said Chinn.

“It is a great opportunity for me to get involved in the coaching side of the game and a chance to give something back to British hockey.

“Streatham are a long established club and progressing every year so I am looking forward to getting started in the capital.”

Chinn joins Streatham after captaining Basingstoke Bison in the English Premier Ice Hockey League for the past two seasons, where he picked up an EPL play-off title in 2013/14.

Rost said: “I know he could have negotiated himself considerably better terms elsewhere but we have been having infrequent conversations about this for some time so it’s nice to finally be at the right time and place for this to move forward.

“Chinny is an all-round talent who is simply one of the best players of his generation, but all that talent and toughness would be of limited use to us if he couldn’t communicate all of experience this to his teammates.

“This is his greatest quality, how well he communicates and motivates those around him, and he is going to be a tremendous asset to the club moving into the future.

“This signing really helps our long-term development agenda and it is very reasonable to assume that Nicky will, in time, have established himself as head coach. That’s a coaching progression everyone can be excited by.

“Nicky Chinn is a Streatham Redskin and that’s pretty cool.”

Redskins’ other signing Wiggins, 27, will add muscle to the forwardline having made a name for himself as one of the toughest players in the EPL in recent seasons.

“After the last six seasons in the EPL I have made the decision that it’s the right time and place for me to be continuing my career with the Redskins in the NIHL,” said Wiggins.

“After speaking with Warren, Nicky and teammates past and present, I was easily convinced that this is the type of club I want to play for.

“I’m really excited to get the season underway and I know that we will be a team that will be able to compete week in and week out hopefully take home some silverware in the process.”

Supporters have the option to have their name printed on a player’s home or away jersey for £70 thanks to the club’s own and loan scheme.

Email [email protected] for more details.

Feature image of Dom Hopkins courtesy of Rick Webb, with thanks

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