After a breakout season in which he posted better than a point a game, forward Ian Watters has agreed a return to the Guildford Flames ice hockey club. The Canadian skater had a career high with 30 goals and 35 assists in 63 starts and collected league Player of the Week honours shortly after his Spectrum arrival.
The 5’11”, 200lb winger joined the side after 5 minor pro seasons in North America; the last 4 with Reading Royals in the East Coast Hockey League. In 223 ECHL starts, including his opening year split with Orlando Solar Bears and Idaho Steelheads, Watters had 27 goals and 95 points to go with 228 penalty minutes. He also added 7 points in 25 playoff outings.
“I’m excited to be back in Guildford for another season,” offered Watters. “The organization, the great team mates, and the amazing fans were all a factor in my re-signing. I can’t wait to build on last season and hopefully help the team go even further. Looking forward to getting started.”
Prior to his jump to the professional ranks, the native of Pickering, Ontario spent 3 full seasons with Brampton Battalion in Canada’s Major Junior Ontario Hockey League where he amassed 45 goals and 97 points in 161 starts. His best season was 2011-2012 when he was nearly a point a game skater over a 42 game stretch that saw him capture 18 goals and 17 assists during the regular schedule and the playoffs, while also taking his team’s player of the year honours.
The former alternate captain for Battalion and Royals led the latter in shots on goal in 2015-2016 and was named his club’s defensive player of the year in the same season.
“I recall when we first looked into Ian, the overwhelming message that came back to us was a well-rounded, overall player and character on the team,” said Paul Dixon. “The folks who contributed to that message couldn’t have been more accurate.”
“Ian competes hard on every single shift, every single night, and can play in any situation. He was very responsible defensively and he far exceeded any offensive expectations we had.”
“He is also a very modest, well liked personality in the room, and it is easy to see why the last team who had him kept him for so long.”
“It was a pleasure to coach Ian last season and I am looking forward to the opportunity to do it all over again,” added Dixon