19 year old blue liner Chris Cooke has become the first name to make the Invicta Dynamos rear guard ahead of the new season after the Guildford skater agreed terms to join the club on a full contract from the EPL’s Flames.
Chris Cooke arrived at the Dynamos in December 2013 looking to continue his development as part of a two-way deal with the EPL’s Guildford Flames and firmly established himself at the SilverBlades Gillingham over the remainder of the campaign. Given the extra ice time, he would then thrive in the NIHL South’s premier competition with the number 95 making 31 appearances for the Mos and tallying 3 goals and 12 assists for a total of 15 points. More importantly his invaluable EPL experience and success as a junior in Guildford saw him bring a new dimension to the team’s rear guard and the impression he made in a Dynamos jersey saw Head Coach Kevin Parrish determined to secure him as a more permanent fixture for 2014/15.
Speaking on the return of Chris Cooke, Dynamos supremo Kevin Parrish revealed that he had seen the skater progress over the course of the 2013/14 campaign and suggested that there was still more to come from the young defenceman. Parrish said, “Chris was a stand-out performer for us last season and you could see that he grew massively in confidence as the year went on. He’s still only 19 so there is even more potential within him and I’m delighted he has opted to join us in Gillingham full time so that we can benefit from that. He is a hardworking blue liner, will throw his body in the way of the puck to keep the goal safe, has a keen eye for a breakout pass and also started finding the target from deep later in the season and I look forward to more of the same when campaign begins again in September”.
Kevin Parrish also paid tribute to the Guildford Flames for their willingness to allow Chris Cooke to join on a two-way deal last term when he said, “The Flames have a very strong development programme in Guildford and we are grateful to have a good relationship with the EPL side that allows players the calibre of Chris to join us on two-way deals. Whilst Chris has now signed for us full time for 2014/15 we would like to express our gratitude to the Surrey side and we look forward to ensuring the association continues in future”.
Chris Cooke is the second player to make the Invicta Dynamos roster ahead of the puck drop in September and joins netminder Chris Douglas on the team sheet with further names to be revealed in the coming weeks.