Krefeld The KEV 81 reported the Oberliga team on time. He has to submit the license documents by June 30th. Until then, the sponsors must put their signatures under the contracts.
While the twelve youth teams of KEV 81 are preparing for the new ice hockey season in summer training, those responsible are busy planning the games for the U23s in the Oberliga Nord. “We have held talks with all the major sponsors and there are positive signals that we can also compete in the Oberliga next season,” said sports chairman Elmar Schmitz. There was also a conversation with the Fischbach Group from Gelsenkirchen. “Last year this company, which is managed by the former youth players Danny Fischbach and Lukas Heise, made a significant contribution to the continued development of our youth development,” says Schmitz.
As a result, the KEV reported the Oberliga team to the German Ice Hockey Federation on June 15th. The license documents must be submitted by June 30th. The KEV wants to do that as soon as all sponsorship contracts are in the towel. The first matchday in the Oberliga is scheduled for September 23rd. Duisburg comes as a promoted team, so the league consists of 15 teams. A double round is played. “We need a broad squad to be able to react to work-related and injury-related absences,” says Schmitz, who will be coaching the gang next season together with his assistant trainer Christoph Kleckers.
Nine players from last season’s squad, including DEL-experienced goalkeeper Patrick Klein and captain Adrian Grygiel, have already indicated that they will stay if the team can compete in the Oberliga. Grygiel is currently still undergoing rehabilitation after a serious shoulder injury he suffered while wearing the Lausitzer Füchse jersey at the game in Bad Tölz. The KEV loaned the 38-year-old to the Saxons in the DEL 2 after the end of the season.
KEV would also like to keep its Slovenian top scorer Marcel Mahkovec, who scored 26 goals and provided 39 assists in 44 games. “We are in talks with him and are still in contact with the Canadian Ty Kolle,” says Schmitz. Kolle completed 29 games in which he scored 13 goals and gave 15 assists. Should both remain, the KEV would have occupied two contingent positions in the squad. In the coming season, the clubs can use three contingent players per match.
“The league is becoming more professional, but we are primarily looking at the sporting development of the young players. But since we don’t want to be relegated, we also need a few experienced players,” says the coach.
The KEV has concluded a cooperation with the regional league team Dinslaken. The young players who come from the U20 and don’t make it into the Oberliga right away should get match practice here. The cooperation will be continued with the Löwen Frankfurt, which has been promoted to the DEL. “Maybe we can use one or the other licensed player. Talks are underway with the penguins about continuing the cooperation,” says Schmitz.