As we approach the completion of the squad, the London Raiders signing of Junior National Team Coaches continues this week with the return of Euan King for his third spell as Raiders’ netminder.
28 year old Euan progressed through the Peterborough junior system and represented Great Britain at the Junior World Championships on three occasions producing an 89% save percentage, picking up an Under-18 gold medal in Division 2 in season 2005/6; and an Under-20 silver medal two years later.
He first iced competitively for Peterborough Phantoms in an EPIHL cup tie at the age of 16. He iced for Phantoms for three seasons averaging a save percentage of over 89% in each season and was a member of the all conquering Phantoms EPL squad in 2008/9. Euan also made 5 Elite league appearances for Nottingham Panthers.
He moved to Romford for season 2009/10 and his season, like many others that season, was curtailed by an injury with his being in a game against Sheffield Steeldogs. He then moved across Essex to pick up an ENL Champions medal for the Chieftains before taking two years out.
Season 2013/14 started at London Raiders but finances dictated a mass release in mid season, which saw him moving to Chelmsford where he won League and play off winners medals. The following season he back-stopped Chieftains to league and cup wins and returned the best Save Percentage (93.5%) and Goals Against Average (1.93); and followed that up as a member of their grand slam winning Chieftains in 2015/16.
Euan started last season at Streatham making ten appearances before returning to London Raiders in October, recording a 22 shot shut out at Milton Keynes Thunder. In all Euan has made 86 appearances for the Raiders spending 4299 minutes between the pipes (sixth highest in Raiders history) recording an 89.12% Save percentage, with two shut outs.
Euan’s junior coaching role already marks him out as a player with the eye to the future and he added.
“I’m very happy to be back in the Gold and Blue for the new season and working alongside Sean and Alan again. I have a great deal of respect for both as coaches and people and I’m excited to see how they set us up to compete in the new league structure. The new league structure is a bit of an unknown for everyone involved but is something I am very much looking forward to. They have put together a very good team with mixture of youth, experience, speed and grit which should hopefully set us up nicely to be competitive.
With the move back to Romford just around the corner, the club is on a steep upward incline and this is probably the most excited I have been for a season in a very long time. I said when I returned in November my aim was to get back to the new rink and nothing has changed. It’s now down to me to make sure I perform to the level expected of me to make that goal becomes a reality.”
Joining Euan between the pipes this season is today’s second signing in the form of the promising prospect Zach Grandy-Smith.
Having spent all his ice hockey career in the Chelmsford junior system, 18 year old Zach has also been selected for South East Conference hockey at both Under 15 and 17 levels.
Sean Easton selected Zach on the basis of his long term knowledge of his time in the Chelmsford system as he added.
“Zach is an eager kid willing to learn and is a cracking goalie. He has all the “uncoachables” .He is 6″4’ and athletic, which helps Zach fill a lot of the net. Zach has played for conference and England teams through his junior days as well has winning junior titles in his time at Chelmsford”.
“I am really looking forward to coming back into hockey this coming season and creating a relationship with the fans after a break last season. When Sean asked me to become part of the Raiders it came as surprise but it is an opportunity that I am prepared to undertake fully.”
Euan King was pleased to see the young prospect at the Raiders.
“I am also excited to be working with Zach this season. When we spoke in the summer we discussed options and I was very keen to have a young goalie to help bleed through. We have a very good prospect who will not only push me week in week out to ensure I remain on my toes for game time, but also a talented goalie who I can help out and use my experience to hopefully be pushing to take the senior role in the next few seasons.”
Welcome to both Euan and Zach, and be sure to get their shirts sponsored for that all important financing that keep this team ticking.