The Case for the Defense

29 May 2024

Dragons add depth to the D

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As we move into June, the Dragons are busy confirming their first acquisitions of the summer. So far, the emphasis is on defense. In recent seasons we’ve seen many games where we’ve relied on top-class goaltending to keep us in contention; with a new-look D-core, we’re hoping that our hard-working netminders might have a slightly easier time in 2024/25.

Since the trade window reopened, we’ve added three new faces to the team: Adam Clendening, Martin Lefebvre and Ian McCoshen. We’re also welcoming back Doyle Somerby, who was regularly among the league’s leaders in blocked shots in his first two seasons with the club.

Clendening, 31, is a U.S. international who won World Championship bronze in 2021. He also has two U18 gold medals from 2009 and 2010 and had 12 points through 14 games in those successful tournaments. And throughout his career – which includes 90 NHL games – he’s been a productive figure on the blue line. Adam travelled to Europe last season, playing with Ilves Tampere in the Finnish Liiga. He had 28 (8+20) points through 40 regular season games there.

Fellow American McCoshen, 28, also has experience of life in Finland. He played for Assat in the 2022/23 season before moving on to Liberec in the Czech League last term. Earlier he starred on Boston College’s champion NCAA team, played World Juniors twice for Team USA and was drafted by Florida, where he made 60 NHL appearances through three seasons.

Lefebvre, 31, is another former Assat man. He joined the Finnish team last season to replace McCoshen, and had 27 (4+23) points in 46 games. Hailing from Terrebonne, Quebec, Martin graduated the University of Quebec Trois Rivieres but played most of his pro career in Europe. He twice helped Aalborg Pirates win the Danish championship, and had a prolific season in Norway with 71 points in 59 games to help Stavanger Oilers take the crown in 2022/23.


We’ve already introduced Mikhail Kravets as our new head coach, fresh from taking Avangard to second place in the Eastern Conference. Since then, the Dragons also confirmed the rest of the backroom staff.

Viktors Ignatjevs, last season’s head coach, is staying on with the team as senior assistant coach to Kravets. That’s a big appointment, providing valuable continuity and helping us to build on the progress we made last term. He’s joined by fellow assistant Alexander Savchenkov, a Muscovite who was most recently with Dynamo. He’s also had coaching roles at Atlant, Lokomotiv and Vityaz in the KHL.

Goalie coach Vladimir Kulikov, conditioning coach Denis Malinin and video coach Mikhail Bykov – who helped KRS lead the league in successful bench challenges last season – all return for 2024/25.

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