Three of the Trade-Mart Dundee Stars players are making their professional or European hockey debuts and all of them are hoping to make a big impression with the Stars this season.

By Kris Smith

Defenseman, Devon Daniels and forward, Elijiah Barriga make their professional debuts this season, while center, Ben Sokay is playing his rookie year in the European game.

Daniels joined the club from Mercyhurst University in the NCAA and after completing his first few weeks in Dundee, Devon said: “I am really happy to have the opportunity to be here in Dundee and start my pro career, especially in Europe.

“Practice has been going really well and I have just been focusing on adjusting to the European game and it is pretty exciting to get into these preseason games and it was pretty cool experience starting the year off in Belfast.

“Now, it will be good to play Fife and Glasgow this weekend and I am really excited for those games as well and to get some more games under my belt before the regular season starts.”

 

Defenseman, Devon Daniels is ready to step up the pro-game. (Picture: Derek Black).

 

The 24-year-old also shared his first experiences of transitioning to the pro-level, adding: “It is a bit of adjustment and especially turning pro too, as there is a bit of step coming from college hockey.

“However, the more clips I see of the game play and the more I am out on the ice, the better I adjust because you see something new on every play and then can change your game.

“So, the more I play, the better I will be with the European style and adjusting into the pro game as well.”

Also turning pro is Californian forward, Barriga and he shared his first thoughts of the club and the city.

“It is fun to finally be here, it has been a long summer but it is great to be in Dundee and so far the town is great, the people are great and the fans are great”, said Elijiah.

Discussing making his pro debut and playing in Europe for the first time this season, he added: “It is pretty exciting, I am coming over from the United States, so coming overseas to play is really fun and it looks like it is going to be a good year.”

 

Elijiah Barriga got his first taste of the pro-level this past weekend and is only hungrier for more. (Picture: Derek Black).

 

Finally, the 26-year-old shared his excitement about heading into this weekend’s first Scottish rivalry games and Barriga said: “I have only heard about these rivalries from the guys the in room, but they said it is pretty big and they are fun to play in.

“So, we will see how it goes and I am excited to play in these big games.”

Canadian forward, Sokay then discussed his delight to be making his debut on this side of the Atlantic, this year and he said: “I am super excited, I have never played in Europe before, as I have been in North America my whole life, whether it be Canada or the U.S.

“So, it will be a really good experience and obviously it will be a different style of hockey and with the bigger ice, but I feel that suits my game.

“I like to play fast and with skill, so I think that will turn into an advantage for me.

“Playing in Europe and travelling around the UK, you are not just playing hockey and I do not want to say you are one vacation too, but you just have to enjoy it and not take it for granted.”

 

Ben Sokay is eager to make his European debut and achieve success with the Stars.

 

The 25-year-old made his pro debut last season in the ECHL but is not concerned about having to adapt his game to a more European style.

Ben explained: “It is still hockey, you still need to know the basics and think the way of the game, but there are still a lot of North Americans playing in this league.

“So, there are a lot of differences but also a lot of similarities.”

The native of Port-Hope, Ontario is also eager to make his first appearance in a Stars jersey this weekend and is even more excited to head straight into the intense Scottish derby atmosphere.

Sokay said: “It will be really cool, I have not played a game over here yet so it will be cool to see the atmosphere, especially playing against rivals, it may be just a friendly but I am sure the fans will still come out and be loud all night.”

 

The three rookies during preseason camp. (Sokay – Barriga – Daniels).

 

Buy your tickets HERE for Sunday’s home game against Fife Flyers and contact the Dundee Stars OSC on social media for information on the away trip to Glasgow.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
37 Games
9 Wins
24 Losses
4 OT Losses
22 Points