The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars are delighted to announce the signing of Canadian forward, Zach Tsekos for the 2024-2025 Elite League campaign.


The 27-year-old center, joins the club from ECHL outfit Florida Everblades and last season he featured in 27 regular season games, scoring 11 points (5G, 6A) as the Everblades won the Kelly Cup Playoff Championship but unfortunately injuries had kept Zach off the ice throughout the year.

Born in Montréal, Québec, Zach made his professional debut with Utah Grizzlies in 2022 as he joined the ECHL side at the end of the year, after completing his college studies with Clarkson University of the NCAA.

Tsekos, who stands at 5-foot and 10-inches tall, also signed his first full-time professional deal with American Hockey League side, Colorado Eagles – the affiliate club of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche – appearing six times before moving to their ECHL partner, Utah for most of the season.

The Canadian has played 77 ECHL games to date, as well as 153 matches in the NCAA after spending two years at Sacred Heart University before transferring to Clarkson University, where he would be named captain of the Golden Knights from 2020-2022.

Tsekos has picked up a number of accolades during his collegiate career, including being named ECAC Conference Best Defensive Forward of the year in back-to-back seasons between 2020-2022, Student-Athlete of the Year in 2020 and also to the conference’s First All-Star Team in 2020-2021 and the Second All-Star Team in the 2021-2022 season.


Credit: Clarkson Athletics.



After adding the two-way center to his line-up, Stars Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre, said: “Zach plays a full 200-foot game, he played in a good program in Florida this past season and he signed in the American league straight out of college, so there is a lot of intangibles there.

“He also won the ‘Best Defensive Forward Award’ in his NCAA conference for two years in a row and he was also the captain of his college team for two years as well, obviously last year, he had a bit of an injury plagued season but he is fully recuperated and ready to go.

“It is a situation we have seen before, like when Ryan Valentini had an injury-plagued season before he came in for us last year and he went on to lead our team in scoring and be one of the top scorers in the league.

“We needed a good two-way center and all indications are that he is basically a Spencer Naas 2.0 but he plays at center and Zach just brings a complete, all-around game.

“He is a true pro on and off the ice, it also helps when guys know him and have played with him before, so I got solid recommendations and references on him from Kyle Pouncy and Spencer Naas.

“Both were a great help on this, Kyle especially because they played together in Utah and he helped to get the ball rolling and letting Zach know what to expect, so overall I am happy to have him joining us and he will be a great fit on our team.”


Credit: Lauren Henwood/Utah Grizzlies.


He continued: “I think last year, we just gave away too many goals and that was not on just our defenseman but the forwards as well.

“I thought we played a bit too loosely and a bit run-and-gun at times but Zach is going to help sure that up, he can play on our penalty kill and that definitely needs to improve.

“Everywhere he has played he has been a top penalty killer, so he is going to be good for us at both ends of the ice.

“Zach will give us a little bit of everything and he does the little things right, he does all those non-sexy things that coaches look for, the nitty-gritty bits that go unnoticed.

“He is that complete player, he plays the 200-foot game well and does not cheat, he plays the right way and is strong on face-offs.

“He reminds me a lot of Spencer but obviously in that center position and I hope he can have the same success as Spencer did last year.

“After watching him play and from talking to him, I think the world of him because you can tell he is a true pro and all the references on him were all green, there were no red flags at all and we are happy to have him on board.”


Credit: Sacred Heart University.



Once his move to Scotland was sealed, Zach said: “I am really excited, obviously it is my first time coming over to Europe from North America, so there is a lot of excitement on my end and I am ready to get going.

“The conversations I had with Marc got me excited to come because of where he thinks the team is going and how we are going to fit into the league and compete, so everything throughout the signing process got me really excited about this opportunity.

“He preached the culture that he tries to build within the locker room which is really important to me, obviously the on-ice stuff typically takes care of itself and I am excited for that, but the type of culture he is trying to build with Dundee and the Stars is something that I will enjoy.

“I like coming to the rink every day and being around the right group of guys, the right coaching staff, management and ownership and that all seemed to align with my own values and goals, so that was part of the differentiating factor for me in signing for Dundee.”

Sharing the conversations that he had with his former teammate Kyle Pouncy, who he will now be reunited with in Dundee, Zach said: “From being close with Kyle, he was able to tell me more about the league and we more focused on the stuff with Dundee and the pros and inevitable cons that come with any organisation.

“Then as far as the league, I am excited to be coming to the UK and being on a team where there is the opportunity to travel around the country a bit.

“The crowds in the league seem to be really good and it is a different environment to North America, as it seems a bit more energy based and I am looking forward to that with the fans support both home and away, but more so at home.

“I have never been to Europe, so these new cultures will be fun for me to experience.”


Credit: Watertown Daily Times.


Explaining his defensive style of play, Tsekos added: “It is definitely a defining part of my game, I pride myself on playing 200-feet and offensively, my separators are my skating and my hockey IQ.

“I am not going to be killing anyone in the corners but those two attributes help me separate myself, then on the other side of the puck, it is more a mentality thing than anything but it is about taking pride in playing defence and that is the most important thing that gets lost.

“It is not necessarily a skill you can teach in the summer at a skills practice, it just takes some buy-in, some pride and everyone chipping in, so that is always something I have played with and it has allowed me to play some pretty good hockey.”

Finally Zach shared a message for the Stars fans ahead of his arrival on Tayside in a few weeks, he said: “Stars fans, I am super excited to meet you and see you cheering us on in the crowd.

“I am sure it will be loud and I know we will be feeding off your energy, so I am looking forward to getting to Dundee.”


Listen to the full interview with Zach and Stars TV below!



Zach’s career started back in 2011 with Lac St-Louis Royals Espoir in the QMEAA and through 31 games, he recorded 25 points and in the 2012-2013 season, he played for John-Rennie High School, notching 39 points in 34 games.

The Canadian then moved south of the border into the US and began icing for St. Mark’s School in the US High School Preparatory League and in his rookie season, he led the team in scoring with 58 points in 28 matches before going on to score a total of 161 points (68G, 93A) from 85 games, across three years.

Tsekos also had a stint with NV River Rats Under 18’s AAA team in the 2014-2015 campaign, as he split his time between St. Marks and the Rats, where he played in 14 MHSL games and scored 17 points.

After bagging 49 points in his final year with St. Marks, the center then committed to playing NCAA in the autumn of 2016 as he went on to join Sacred Heart University.

Zach played two seasons with the Pioneers and dressed in 62 games, scoring 12 goals and assisting on 30 more before deciding to transfer schools at the end of the 2017-2018 campaign and move to Clarkson University.

The old NCAA policy meant students had to sit out for a year before being eligible to play for their new school, so during the 2018-2019 season, Tsekos was a full-time student at Clarkson University and was still able to practice with the team and participate in all other hockey activities.

He was then eligible to play for the Golden Knights in the 2019-2020 season and would put up 26 points in his first 34 games, whilst also winning the ECAC Conference Student-Athlete of the Year Award.


Credit: Clarkson Athletics.


“The following summer he was made captain of team and led them in scoring with 18 points during his first campaign with the ‘C’ on his chest, earning him a place on the conference First All-Star Team and the award for ECAC Best Defensive Forward.

His final NCAA season, saw Zach once again captain the side and step-up his offensive production, improving his numbers to 15 goals and 16 assists in 35 games, whilst also adding a second successive ECAC Best Defensive Forward Award to his name and being named to the conference’s Second All-Star Team.

At the end of the 2021-2022 campaign, he signed with Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL and made his first three professional appearances at the end of the regular season, before then featuring in 14 playoff games for the Grizzlies and contributing 12 points in their run to the conference finals.

The AHL’s Colorado Eagles then penned the Québec-native to an amateur try-out contract and he would play six times for the Colorado Avalanche’s farm team, whilst also icing in 33 games for the Grizzlies that year.

After netting 26 points during his first full season in Utah, Tsekos then joined the Florida Everblades for their Kelly Cup winning campaign last season and whilst dealing with injuries, he was able to play on 27 occasions and score 11 points.


Credit: Lauren Henwood/Utah Grizzlies.


In his 13-year-career so far, Zach has featured in 377 matches, recorded 164 goals, 232 assists and collected 86 penalty minutes, while also playing in 25 playoff games, where he tallied 14 points (5G, 9A) and 2 penalty minutes.

Zach is our 16th signing of the summer and joins Drydn Dow, Ben O’Connor, Jonathan McBean, Xavier Pouliot, Craig Garrigan, Kris Inglis, Kyle Pouncy, Brett Gravelle, Craig Moore, Keanu Yamamoto, Brendan Harms, Jake Elmer, Alex Tonge, Cole MacDonald and Domenic Alberga on the roster for next season.

Tsekos has also shared a dressing room with a number of former Stars players throughout his career, including: Kyle Pouncy, Johnny Walker and Francis Marotte.

Zach will wear #17 for the Stars and you can sponsor his equipment for this season right now, click HERE.

To see Zach’s career stats on Elite Prospects click HERE.


Banner image: Lauren Henwood/Utah Grizzlies.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
54 Games
22 Wins
25 Losses
7 OT Losses
51 Points