Kevin Parrish’s exhaustive search for an import defenceman is finally at an end after the Invicta Dynamos Head Coach today announced the capture of 27 year old Estonian blue liner and former international Ilja Urushev with the skater set to join up with his new side in the coming week.
Ilja Urushev hails from Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn and joins the Dynamos having iced in the Czech Republic, Russia, Latvia, France and America. Having risen to represent his country in the under 18s World Junior Championships aged just 15, Urushev enjoyed great success on the international stage as a junior – winning two Division 2 silver medals for the under 18s and a Division 2 gold for the under 20s. His excellent displays saw him make his senior international bow as early as 2005/06 where he tallied 5 goals in as many appearances in an Estonia jersey.
In 2005/06 Ilja Urushev played his club hockey in Russia’s third tier before the following season would take him to HC Decin of the Czech Republic. In 2007/08 his passport would receive yet another stamp as he made his home in Latvia for a campaign – turning out for Tartu Big Diamonds a total of 39 times in the country’s premier league. Montpellier in France’s second tier would be his destination the next season before a trip across the pond saw him represent the Evansville Icemen in the All American Hockey League (AAHL) in 2009/10. With his assistance the Indiana based club swept their way to playoff glory to scoop the Rod Davidson Cup before Urushev moved into the Federal Hockey League (FHL), a professional league with teams in the North-eastern and Midwestern United States, for 2010/11.
Having totted up the miles Ilja Urushev returned to familiar ground in 2011/12 as he moved back to Montpellier but his season was defined by his success on the international stage – Estonia taking gold in Division 2 of the World Championships and earning promotion to Division 1. In 2012/13 he then represented his country in the top tier whilst returning home to play for HC Viking at club level – a move to Viking taking him back to his city of birth in Tallinn. In two following seasons Urushev scooped the league title on both occasions with his home town team finishing top of the pile in 2012/13 and 2013/14 – the latter success coming under the blue liner’s captaincy. Now though he will shortly arrive in the UK for a new chapter in his hockey career that will see him ice at the Silver Blades Gillingham for the Invicta Dynamos over the remainder of the campaign.
Speaking on the signing of Ilja Urushev, Dynamos Head Coach Kevin Parrish said, “It has been an exhausting search for an import defenceman but I’m glad to now have a deal in place with Ilja set to join us in the middle of next week. We took our time because we wanted to get the right player for this club and we’re confident that Ilja is the man to slot in and help lead our defence. He brings experience to the blue line, is well travelled, has played on the international stage and most importantly he wants to be here and make his mark in the NIHL South Division 1 and I think he will do exactly that. He comes highly recommended by retired Estonia captain Dmitri Rodin who has been training with us lately and he will hopefully be the final piece of the jigsaw for our 2014/15 roster. He knows what it takes to win, has enjoyed success in the past and hopefully he can help bring similar success to the Silver Blades Gillingham”.
Ilya Urushev will miss Saturday’s home clash with Cardiff and Sunday’s road trip to Basingstoke but could make his debut as early as next Saturday 13th December when the Dynamos host the Wightlink Raiders from 5.15pm.